‘A pharmacy without a pharmacist is a shop.’

A pharmacy without a pharmacist is just a shop, the president of the UK’s Royal Pharmaceutical Society has told a conference

Any Amazon-isation of pharmacy would be to the detriment of the community, Martin Astbury told delegates to the annual RPS conference yesterday.

“Can we replace the community pharmacy network with an Amazon-style operation? 

“Certainly, but, the value of having an expert health professional on the high street will be lost… that’s not making the best use of technology or the profession in my view,” Astbury told the conference.

The Pharmaceutical Journal reports that Astbury said any future changes in technology and legislation affecting the pharmacy sector must not lead to the removal of pharmacists from the high street.

Any legislative changes must ensure that it is pharmacists who supervise the sale and supply of drugs.

“It would be totally inappropriate for anyone other than a pharmacist to supervise the sale and supply of either prescription or pharmacy medicines,” Astbury told the conference.

“The RPS believes that legislation should make it compulsory for a pharmacist to be present whenever a community pharmacy is open. A pharmacy without a pharmacist is a shop.

“I don’t want to see community pharmacy relegated to a drug store.”

Astbury said that the pharmacist’s supply role is a key part of the profession and that he is disappointed when he hears pharmacy stakeholders promoting new clinical and professional roles but “talking down” the supply role.

“They’re talking down the fact that we dispense one billion prescriptions safely each year,” he said.

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