The PSI welcomes the announcement of an Expert Taskforce to support the expansion of pharmacist roles

July 24, 2023

The PSI welcomes the announcement by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, T.D., of the establishment of an Expert Taskforce to support the expansion of the role of pharmacists in Ireland. The Expert Taskforce is charged with considering and examining ways in which pharmacists can expand upon their present scope of practice for the benefit of patients, the public and the wider healthcare system. 

It will also assess options to enable pharmacists to extend prescriptions for a range of medicines and medical conditions and is tasked to advise on a comprehensive approach to facilitate prescribing by pharmacists, including common minor ailments, in a community pharmacy setting. The Expert Taskforce is comprised of representatives from across the health, pharmacy and pharmacy education sectors, including Registrar and Chief Officer of the PSI, Joanne Kissane.

“We welcome the announcement by Minister Donnelly and look forward to contributing to this important work in partnership with health stakeholders." 

Joanne Kissane, Registrar and Chief Officer, PSI - The Pharmacy Regulator.

“We believe the move to establish a taskforce is an important step in examining the ways in which the scope of pharmacists can be expanded upon, utilising their extensive medicines expertise and education and training for the benefit of patients and the public. Such a move aligns with one of the strategic objectives within our current corporate strategy to facilitate evidence-based practice by pharmacists and advanced practice, where this is required by patient need and public policy.

We recognise that the expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice has the potential to alleviate pressures in other areas of the health system and provide access to care at the lowest level of complexity, in line with the principles of Sláintecare. In participating in the taskforce, and considering any recommendations that arise from its work, our focus will be on ensuring appropriate regulatory frameworks, standards, and training are in place to ensure that patients and the public have access to trusted pharmacy services.”