The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) demanded a revision of consultation document by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on new Indicative Sanctions Guidance for its Statutory Committee, to better reflect the approach to pharmacy owners

The document should include “an equal amount of information about the approach to be taken to pharmacy owners for breaches of pharmacy premises standards as it contains about individual pharmacist registrants,” it said in its response to the consultation.

The Statutory Committee of the PSNI considers and adjudicates on serious Fitness to Practise allegations made against pharmacists in Northern Ireland.

PDA said the consultation should give details of the investigation process, the available sanction(s), the factors for Statutory Committees to take in to account when considering applying them and the process to be followed in the case of pharmacy owners also.

It also demanded to include poor working environments or poor premises standards in the pharmacy as a result of the actions of an employer and other factors that are outside the control of the pharmacist to the list of potential mitigating factors.

PDA also urged PSNI to ensure it has sufficient resources to handle the cases “thoroughly and expediently” to limit the potential for adverse effects of being subjected to protracted proceedings with uncertainty of outcome.