Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland ("PSI") Corporate Strategy 2018-2020 & Service Plan 2018

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Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland ("PSI") Corporate Strategy 2018-2020 & Service Plan 2018

Published 26 April 2018

The PSI recently published its Corporate Strategy for 2018 to 2020 ("the Strategy"). The Strategy sets out the approach of the PSI  over the next three years in a number of areas which will be of interest to pharmacists including: registration, quality assurance in pharmacy care, CPD, future needs of pharmacy, effective communication (with the public and pharmacists) and effective compliance.

The Strategy continues to emphasise the role of the PSI in the protection of the public by ensuring robust regulation of the profession. In addition, the PSI sets out its commitment to the profession of a "strongly collaborative approach...to create new opportunities and develop new relationships with PSI registrants..."

The Strategy also generally identifies a number of areas in which further development and innovation will be required from the PSI to ensure that pharmacy registration moves in line with future developments in healthcare and technological advancements. In particular, the Strategy mentions the pressures on hospital services and possible alleviation of some of these pressures at primary/community care level.

The PSI has also confirmed in its Strategy that “regulatory approaches must not stand in the way of innovation and developments that can facilitate improved healthcare outcomes for people receiving pharmacy care and advice." In this regard, the document recognises that the PSI must facilitate the proposed expansion in pharmacy services by revising standards and promoting engagement with continuing professional development.

The PSI has said that it will seek to ensure that there is an effective and proportionate approach taken to the regulation of pharmacists and pharmacies and that it intends to attempt to address the financial burden on registrants by ensuring streamlined and efficient processes and regulation where at all possible. In addition, it states that it aims to achieve positive health outcomes for patients, but also minimising unnecessary compliance costs on professionals and pharmacies. The PSI aims to do this by:

  • Seeking amendments to the Pharmacy Act 2007;
  • Developing new types of standards;
  • Developing a new Code of Conduct by engaging with pharmacists;
  • Reviewing the governance and management requirements for retail pharmacy businesses;
  • Developing mechanisms to provide for innovation and technological improvement;
  • Ensuring the evolution of education and CPD standards;
  • Ensuring that regulation is proportionate, fair and risk-based and is understandable, simple and transparent;
  • Exploring the use of mediation and undertakings to resolve some types of complaints;
  • Reporting structures that give credit to pharmacies that are being run well; and
  • Ensuring better information is available to pharmacists and the general public.

The Service Plan 2018

The Service Plan 2018 ("Service Plan") sets out the PSI's approach for the year 2018, including that the anticipated new Code of Conduct  (the "Code") will be published during 2018. The Code will be published following a review process being undertaken by the PSI during which it held a number of consultations with interested people and organisations. It also highlights that the PSI intends to develop its communication channels with a new website and expanded social media presence.

The Service Plan contains reference to the development of "an accountability framework for pharmacy owners including guidelines on the requirements of supervising and superintendent pharmacists and pharmacy owners." It also appears that the PSI will develop a risk assessment framework for retail pharmacies. While guidelines and frameworks can be of great use from a transparency and education perspective, it is important that a careful balance is maintained between protection of the public by providing pharmacists with the tools necessary to fulfil their obligations and avoiding overregulation of, in particular, the community pharmacy sector.

Finally, of particular note to community pharmacies, the PSI intends to design and conduct themed inspections of pharmacies having now completed inspections of every pharmacy in Ireland. These themed inspections will focus on specific areas such as high tech drug scheme medications, controlled drug registers and supply into residential care homes.

The PSI's Corporate Strategy 2018-2020 is available here and the Service Plan 2018 is available here.

Authors

Gary Rice

Gary Rice

Dublin

+353 (0)1 231 9654

Aideen Ryan

Aideen Ryan

Dublin

+353 (0)86 042 4405

Brian Ormond

Brian Ormond

Dublin

+353 (0) 12319691

Aidan Healy

Aidan Healy

Dublin

+353 (0)123 19669

Niall Sexton

Niall Sexton

Dublin

+353 (0)1 231 9675

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