Why independents will be the small but mighty force behind FMD compliance


By Beth Kennedy

04 Feb 2019

Our editor-in-chief Beth Kennedy on why independents will be the victors in the countdown to FMD Day


Wow, those three years since the final arrangements for the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) were agreed – starting a compliance countdown that ends on Saturday (9 February) – sure have flown by.
With no national implementation plan to stick to, contractors have been forced to bear the brunt of organising the whole shebang, from choosing which barcoding software to choose to training their teams to reorganising their standard operating procedures (SOPs).

It’s a helluva task, and what with uncertainties over how Brexit could affect the directive in the UK to the organisational difficulties FMD poses, it’s hardly surprising that some pharmacists are worried that they won’t be ready on time.

So then, why was I so surprised that both Boots UK and LloydsPharmacy revealed that neither of them will be prepared across all their branches in time for Saturday? After all, I thought, when two of the major pharmacy players in the UK can’t get everything sorted on time, what hope have our independent readers got?

But actually, I truly believe that this is one of those times when size really does matter. Without the organisational nightmare of creating a FMD plan suitable for hundreds of stores, independents are in the enviable position of being able to minutely adapt their plans to make the directive work for their small businesses, rather than the other way around.

Of course, despite this, many contractors – including our case study example Al Patel of Lee Pharmacy in Lewisham – are also feeling the pressure to get ready on time. With such a complex system to put in place, that’s only to be expected.

Luckily, the General Pharmaceutical Committee (GPhC) has made it clear that , while pharmacists should try as hard as they can to be ready for the deadline date, Saturday is not being considered ‘cliff edge’ where contractors will face regulatory action if they are not ready for.

That said, there is still an expectation that pharmacists should be as prepared as possible. So we at The Pharmacist are going to be pooling our considerable amount of content on FMD this week to help you as much as we can.

Follow our #FMDDay and #FMDDiaries hashtagss on Twitter to keep up with our content countdown.