Archive 2012

Commencement of new pharmacist education and training reported by the PSI

May 09, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012: Ireland’s new undergraduate pharmacy education and continuing professional development framework will promote excellence in the areas of patient care, professional standards and pharmacy education, according to Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) President Mr Paul Fahey. 

He was speaking at the publication of the regulator’s Annual Report for 2011 which details the commencement of the new structures of education and training for pharmacists in Ireland.  The innovative framework is to facilitate further development of expertise across the profession as well as to bring the Irish pharmacist education system in line with international best practice.

“The PSI continued in 2011 to focus on expanding the role of pharmacists and the scope of clinical pharmacy practice in line with the vision of Pharmacy Ireland 2020,” said Mr Fahey.

“The PSI has established the National Forum for Pharmacy Education and Accreditation to oversee the development and ongoing delivery of the new fully integrated Masters-level programme of pharmacy education.  The new Irish Institute of Pharmacy meanwhile will be responsible for the overall management and delivery of continuing professional development to promote excellence in the profession.”

“I would like to also pay tribute to outgoing PSI Registrar, Dr Ambrose McLoughlin, who has recently been appointed Secretary General of the Department of Health.  His unstinting commitment and hard work during his tenure as Registrar have been immeasurable and, on behalf of the PSI and its Council, I wish to thank him for his efforts.”

The annual report states that the total number of retail pharmacy businesses on the PSI register at the end of 2011 was 1,757, an increase of 29 pharmacies from 2010.  The number of new openings increased from 43 in 2010 to 48 in 2011.

A total of 68 formal complaints were received in 2011 (58% increase on 2010 figures).  Although for a second year running the majority of these complaints were received from members of the public, 2011 also recorded an increase in the number of complaints being received from members of the profession (5% increase on 2010 figures). 

In 2011, 61 complaints were referred to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee (PPC), the disciplinary committee which advises the PSI Council  on whether there is sufficient cause to warrant further action being taken in relation to complaints received about registered pharmacists or registered retail pharmacy businesses.   The PPC observed in its 2011 annual report the need for dosage instructions for liquid measures to be documented in both words and figures on medicine labels, to avoid errors.  It also noted that many complaints concerning the refusal to sell codeine to patients related to the manner in which the refusal was communicated to the patient.

18 complaints were referred to the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) for inquiry and one complaint was referred to the Health Committee for inquiry.

A total of six hearings were conducted by the PCC in 2011, three of which were held in private, the PCC having heard preliminary applications to that effect and considered it appropriate in the circumstances. 

Other highlights over the year included a first video podcast on the new PSI website to promote an understanding of the legal requirements for superintendent pharmacists.  In December 2011 the first issue of a new monthly electronic newsletter was circulated to all pharmacists.  There was also closer coordination in 2011 with other regulatory bodies including an approved Memorandum of Understanding with both the Medical Council and An Garda Síochána.

Pharmacists and pharmacy services continued to make a significant contribution to patient value in 2011 through compliance with patient consultation area guidelines.  This facilitated pharmacists providing new emergency hormonal contraception and influenza vaccination services to patients.

The PSI also initiated planning around the 2013 FIP Congress this year, with the announcement that the event was to be staged in Ireland welcomed by the Taoiseach.  The final report of the baseline study on community pharmacy was also approved by Council in February 2011 and presented to the Minister for Health, Mr James Reilly in May 2011, while a baseline study on hospital pharmacy was also initiated by the PSI this year.

The Council of the PSI also elected Mr Paul Fahey, previously Vice-President, as new President of the PSI - succeeding Ms Noeleen Harvey.  Mr Eoghan Hanly was elected Vice-President.

The full PSI Annual Report for 2011 is available to download. Please click here.

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