responsible_pharmIt is difficult not to have noticed the oncoming significant change in community pharmacy regulation. We are referring to the Responsible Pharmacist regulation which is due to take effect in eh…3 days (1st October 2009). At, we call it “the birth of responsibility”. If this is the birth of responsibility, then what has community pharmacy (and pharmacists) been doing for the past decade or more? We guessed that question may have crossed your mind. We discussed our response to the Responsible Pharmacist regulation at one of our group meeting held on the 18th of September 2009 (link).

How we approached the issue:

Armed with the Responsible Pharmacist Toolkit – Link (pictured), we got to work. At the end of our deliberations, we resolved that:

1. Before and after the introduction of the Responsible Pharmacist regulation, the community pharmacists will continue to make important contributions to the welfare of their patients in the community. They have been and will continue to be responsible practitioners.

2. The way we practice is changing and we are now being required to do more. We now deliver Medicines Use Reviews, we now work as integral members of the multidisciplinary healthcare workforce, we now visit patients at home to deliver pharmaceutical care to those who cannot visit us in the pharmacy. We also envisage our roles to expand in the future. Some of these roles will inevitably take us away from the pharmacy for short periods of time.

3. We judged that the Responsible Pharmacist regulation is designed to allow us to change with our changing role without compromising the important job we are already doing.

4. It is also an opportunity re-emphasise and recalibrate our roles and responsibility as community pharmacists.

5. The critical changes relates to the ability for the responsible pharmacist to be absent for up to 2 hours per day from the pharmacy.

6. The process changes relates to the display of personalised responsible pharmacist and staff notices plus the pharmacy to keep a record sheet.

7. We also resolved that, will provide a range of support for our pharmacists to enable them discharge the Responsible Pharmacist duties effectively. If you are one of our pharmacists, please watch a presentation on how we are supporting you to discharge your responsibility(Video to follow later).

The RPSGB has issued a new guidance which clearly sets out a list of key relevant activities and clarifies whether they:

1. Require a responsible pharmacist to be in charge of the premises (s/he may be absent for up to two hours per day) and will need to take place under the supervision of a pharmacist and who will need to be present at the premises;

2. Require a responsible pharmacist to be in charge of the premises (s/he may be absent for up to two hours per day) and take place under the supervision of a pharmacist who may not need to be physically present at the premises;

3. Require a responsible pharmacist to be in charge of the premises (s/he may be absent for up to two hours) but does not require the supervision of a pharmacist;

4. Do not require a responsible pharmacist to be in charge of the premises but does require the pharmacy support staff undertaking the activity to be appropriately trained and for the activity to be done under standard operating procedures.

You can access the guideline here:

Chemist and Druggist also provided a useful information about responsible pharmacists here (including the 10-part countdown):

Of course the responsible pharmacist regulation is not limited to community pharmacists. The RPSGB has produced a guideline for Hospital Pharmacists in association with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland:

A note for the diary:

The president of the RPSGB, Steve Churton, will be speaking at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight LPC AGM on the 30th of September 2009 about the Responsible Pharmacy regulation. We will be there and we hope you can make it. Book your place:

We will continue to work to bring valuable information and support to our members. If you are not yet a member or haven’t yet felt an interest in joining, we hope you will read more about the project here. We will be waiting to welcome you into our fold.

Thanks for now and have a great week.


Poor ContentOK ContentGood ContentGreat ContentExcellent Content (2 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
  1. Update
    By the end of today, the CPPE will be posting some Responsible Pharmacist e-learning and open learning downloads on their site.

    Make a point to check it out at

Leave a Reply