Guidance on the Delivery of Medicines Dispensed on Foot of a Prescription from a Retail Pharmacy Business

This guidance outlines the requirements a pharmacy must fulfil when providing a delivery system for dispensed medicines.

Guidance on the Delivery of Medicines Dispensed on Foot of a Prescription from a Retail Pharmacy Business pdf cover

This guidance outlines the requirements a pharmacy must fulfil when providing a delivery system for dispensed medicines. It highlights the need to ensure the safe delivery of medicines to the patient, along with appropriate information to ensure that the patient receives the same standard of care they would have received if they had attended the pharmacy in person. 

Many pharmacies have traditionally provided a delivery service for dispensed medicines whenever this was necessary in the interest of the health, safety and convenience of the patient. This guidance document therefore sets out the obligations of pharmacy owners and pharmacists including superintendent, supervising and registered pharmacists, in assuring the security and safety of delivery systems and ensuring compliance with legal and professional requirements.  

The PSI considers that the optimal and safest way for dispensed medicines to be supplied is through direct supply to the patient or carer following a face-to-face interaction between a pharmacist and the patient or carer in the pharmacy. This direct communication with the patient or their carer during a face-to-face interaction allows the pharmacist to evaluate the patient’s overall health and need, perform the required therapeutic review of the prescription and for the required patient counselling to take place. It also allows the pharmacist to verify the authenticity of the prescription and to evaluate the safety and appropriateness of supplying the medicine in the particular circumstances presented.  

It is recognised, however, that it may not always be practical for patients or their carers to attend the pharmacy in person and in some circumstances, it may be necessary and appropriate for the dispensed medicines to be supplied by means of arranged delivery to the patient. The appropriateness of the particular delivery system to be used should always be carefully considered and assured in each circumstance.  

In the supply of medicines via a delivery system pharmacists should apply all the usual safe dispensing and patient counselling practices for patients served in a retail pharmacy setting. In circumstances where arranged delivery is considered to be appropriate, the pharmacist must comply with all legislative and professional requirements for the supply and delivery of medicines including the Code of Conduct for Pharmacists and any other relevant PSI guidance that may have been published.