Public Consultations

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) carries out regular public consultations so that the opinion and input of our many stakeholders may be considered in the work we are undertaking. Through our consultations we seek to achieve an understanding of what is important to the general public, and to those working in pharmacy and in other health related roles, and ensure that our stakeholders understand our role and the work that we do.

The PSI, as the pharmacy regulator, acts to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of patients and the public. Our vision is to ensure that pharmacy services are delivered in a competent, professional and ethical manner and in an appropriate environment, to the highest standards of quality care and best practice.

We currently have two public consultations open for comment with all information contained below.

8 February 2016

Public Consultation on draft Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Regulation of Temporary Absence Cover by Pharmaceutical Assistants) Rules 2016

The PSI is the independent statutory body, established by the Pharmacy Act 2007 (“the Act”).  It is charged with and accountable for the effective regulation of pharmacists and pharmacies in Ireland, including responsibility for supervising compliance with the Act.  The PSI works in the public interest to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the public by regulating the practice of pharmacy and the operation of pharmacies. The PSI keeps and maintains registers of pharmacists, retail pharmacy businesses (pharmacies) and pharmaceutical assistants. A pharmaceutical assistant is a person who is competent to transact the business of a pharmacist in his/her temporary absence, and who may operate to provide skilled assistance to a pharmacist.

Under the Act it is an offence to operate a retail pharmacy business other than in accordance with particular conditions, one of which is that the sale and supply of medicinal products must be carried out by or under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist at all times (Section 26). However, the Act also provides that no offence is committed where a registered pharmaceutical assistant acts on behalf of a registered pharmacist during the temporary absence of the registered pharmacist (Section 30). 

In general terms therefore, and in circumstances where the registered pharmacist is temporarily absent from the pharmacy a registered pharmaceutical assistant may act on his/her behalf and carry out the functions of the pharmacist (excepting functions restricted to pharmacists under specific medicines legislation e.g. vaccination services).

The Council of the PSI has proposed draft rules for public consultation, as provided for under Section 30 of the Act, as to what constitutes the temporary absence of a pharmacist. The purpose of these rules is to provide for a fair and workable model for the definition of “temporary absence”, which also provides public assurance of safe pharmacy practice and patient safety.

Further background information is also available.

We welcome all comments and responses to this public consultation, and invite submissions on the proposed draft rules, preferably by email to or by post to Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, PSI House, Fenian Street, Dublin 2, D02 TD72 marked ‘Temporary Absence Consultation’.

The closing deadline for receipt of comments is Monday 7th March 2016.

1 February 2016

Public Consultation on draft Guidance on the Provision of Vaccination Services by Pharmacists in Retail Pharmacy Businesses

Pharmacists have an important role to play in advising and educating the public about public health protection measures such as immunisation, as well as an important role in providing vaccination services.

The PSI has revised and updated its Guidance on the Provision of Vaccination Services by Pharmacists in a Retail Pharmacy Business, and this public consultation invites comments on this guidance.

This update follows the Medicinal Products (Prescription of Control and Supply) (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2015, which authorises pharmacists to supply and administer two additional vaccines, the pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPV23) and herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles) vaccines. The vaccination guidance, which was specific to the seasonal influenza vaccination, has been reviewed to reflect the recent legislative changes and so that it offers a generic vaccination services guidance document, with specific sections on the vaccinations pharmacists are authorised to administer.

The purpose of this guidance is to support and assist pharmacists in delivering a vaccination service to patients in pharmacies. The guidance sets out the legal and professional requirements which need to be fulfilled in order to safely provide the service. It details the general requirements applicable to the provision of a vaccination service in a pharmacy and additional considerations specific to the provision of each vaccination service, i.e. seasonal influenza, pneumonia and shingles vaccines.

Detailed clinical information and guidance is not provided as this is addressed during a pharmacist’s vaccination training.

Please view the draft of revised Guidance on the Provision of Vaccination Services by Pharmacists in Retail Pharmacy Businesses.

We welcome your comments to this public consultation, and you can respond by completing this short online questionnaire. Alternatively comments are welcome in writing, preferably by email to or by post to Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, PSI House, Fenian Street, Dublin 2. Please be sure to mark your response as ‘Vaccination Consultation’.

The closing deadline for receipt of comments is Monday, 29 February 2016.

Following this consultation process and consideration and analysis of submissions received, the draft guidance will be reviewed and amended as necessary for submission to the PSI Council for its approval. Council will have regard to all submissions when making its decision. We will then publish the finalised guidance.  We will also publish on our website a collated version of all comments received to the public consultation together along with our response to those comments.


Please note that submissions made to the PSI during its public consultations are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014. The PSI also publishes on this website a collated version of all written comments received in response to the public consultation, together with the PSI’s response to those comments.

View previous PSI Public Consultations

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