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All Change For Pharmacist Prescribing

There is so much happening in the world of pharmacy at present, in particular many changes to the process for training as a pharmacist independent prescriber.

Fewer than 20% of pharmacists on the General Pharmaceutical Council (“GPhC”) register are independent prescribers, or IPs, but there is considerable demand across the health service for more healthcare professionals who can prescribe to meet patient needs.

The GPhC has already decided to change the initial education and training process for future pharmacists so that, by summer 2026, all pharmacists will be qualified IPs at the point of GPhC registration.

Change is now also afoot with a view to making it easier for existing pharmacists to become IPs.  Currently, only a pharmacist who has been qualified for at least two years can train as an IP and they must have relevant experience in a specific clinical or therapeutic area prior to commencing their training.  The GPhC has launched a new consultation which proposes to abolish both of these requirements.

Under the new proposals, pharmacists would be able to train as IPs at any point from the date of qualification where they could prove their suitability to train as an IP.  Further, rather than having pre-existing experience in a specific clinical or therapeutic area, pharmacists would need to simply show relevant experience in a pharmacy setting (and then identify an area of clinical or therapeutic practice on which to base their future learning during their IP training).

The GPhC consultation will remain open until 23 November 2021 and you can participate here.

It’s clear that, whether from 2026 or much sooner, pharmacist independent prescribing is the future and now is the time for community pharmacies to start gearing up and reorganising to deliver greatly increased prescribing services to patients.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any queries.

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