The government have revealed that ensuring pharmacies have installed the correct medicine scanners and are actively checking anti-tampering devices, could form part of pharmacy inspections next year.
In order to comply with the requirements of the Falsified Medicines Directive, pharmacy contractors will be required as part of the dispensing process to:
• Check the anti-tampering device (ATD) to ensure it is intact prior to dispensing; and
• Change the status of the pack in the UK’s National Medicines Verification System from “active” to “inactive—supplied”. This involves scanning the 2D barcode on each pack and communicating with the National Medicine Verification System (NMVS).
The government has stated that “legislative changes to provide sanctions to enforce compliance” of the Falsified Medicines Directive. One approach it suggested was “the sole use of criminal sanctions for failure to comply”, in the form of “an unlimited fine…or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both”.
However, the document also states that it “is minded” to “use a mixture of both criminal and civil sanctions”, which could include “written warnings, stop notices and civil fines”. With this in mind, criminal sanctions would only be brought in for the most serious, “intentionally fraudulent breaches”.