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Supervision support

Business development executive board member at the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), Oliver Jones, tells us how APTUK can support you in looking for answers on supervision

Over the past several years one of the most hotly discussed, debated, and even argued points in the world of community pharmacy been the question of supervision.

The Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) have been involved in these discussions and are looking to engage with our members and the wider pharmacy technician profession to better represent their voices in these important conversations.

Understanding supervision

But what does supervision really mean in this context? You may have seen the term splashed all over the pharmacy press, but not necessarily considered its impact on your day-to-day role. ‘Supervision’ is the term used in Regulation 220 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012. It states that a medicinal product (pharmacy only/prescription only medication) must not be supplied unless the person supplying is a pharmacist, or the person supplying acts under the supervision of a pharmacist. In practice this is the reason why we have to say ‘sorry, the pharmacist is on lunch’ if a patient comes to collect a repeat prescription and the pharmacist has popped out to get some well-earned nourishment, or why we may have to sell two boxes of 16 paracetamol tablets, rather than one pack of 32.

APTUK webinar

Many of us find the law and regulations confusing and may not understand exactly what we can or cannot do at the moment, or where responsibility lies for certain aspects of the work we do in pharmacy. As part of our work supporting pharmacy technicians and wider community pharmacy teams, APTUK are organising a webinar where we will hear from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) on the current regulatory standpoint. We will also hear from expert speakers who will talk about supervision, what changes could happen, and what these mean for community pharmacy teams. At the time of writing, the date of this webinar is yet to be confirmed – but will be in September. If you’d like further details when they are available, please sign up here. All are welcome – pharmacy technicians, dispensers, counter assistants and even pharmacists!

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