Community pharmacists should have greater prescription powers to ease pressures
We shared the following statement with GP Online calling for community pharmacists to have greater powers and flexibility to alter medications without the need for Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) when there are problems with medicines supply. Such change would improve patient access and safety, cost effectiveness and help ease the pressure on GPs and other healthcare services.
Suraj Shah, Drug Tariff and Reimbursement Manager at Community Pharmacy England said:
“We strongly support the need for community pharmacists to have greater authority to make simple medication changes without requiring Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) or prescriber approval. We have long advocated for this change.
“There should be greater flexibility for community pharmacists to carry out simple changes, such as quantity, strength and formulation changes similar to hospital pharmacists who have been doing this for years. We’ve been urging Ministers to consider changes in this area.
“Changes would expedite access to treatment, enhance patient safety, and reduce the costs associated with referring patients back to prescribers. It will also relieve pressure on GP and secondary care services, freeing up valuable appointments for those who need them the most. Essentially, granting pharmacists this authority is mutually beneficial for patients and the healthcare system.”