The Scottish government is giving dispensing practices £2,000 each to prepare for the upcoming Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).
The money will allow practices to buy the equipment they need to meet the FMD terms, according to a Scottish Government spokesperson.
The Government said that dispensing practices will receive the money – which comes from a £500,000 improvement package to help them implement the directive – by the end of this financial year.
BMA Scotland General Practitioner Committee chair Andrew Buist welcomed the news as ‘a practical and sensible step to support dispensing practices in the development of this work’.
He added: ‘Our understanding is that this initial funding should be sufficient for most practices to meet the demands of the programme, but that if more is required – such as practices with branch surgeries – then the shortfall would be made up.
It is vital that practices are supported effectively in this work and we’ll be monitoring the position closely.’
Supporting dispensing doctor practices
The government spokesperson said: ‘In our negotiations on the new GP contract in Scotland we agreed to support dispensing doctor practices with the implications of this directive as part of a package of measures tailored to their specific needs.’
Practices will also be given access to accredited training in pharmacy service dispensing skills and accuracy checking on a voluntary basis, the spokesperson added.
Dispensing practices will also need additional IT software to implement the FMD regime.
SecurMed UK, the UK medicines verification organisation, has put together a list of ‘potential IT software providers who supply interface connection solutions to the UK medicines verification system’ and that practices can use.
Are practices FMD-ready?
The FMD will come into force on 9 February and practices will be expected to scan each medicine and vaccine before giving them to patients to make sure they are not counterfeit.
However, most of GP practices in the UK are still in the dark regarding the actions they need to take to be FMD compliant.
The BMA in England has said that practices may be given an additional twelve month extension to implement the directive.
Despite the lack of clear guidance, Dispensing Doctors’ Association chief executive Matthew Isom said practices should start registering as a ‘requestor’ – defined as the person who registers a location from which medicines are dispensed – with SecurMed UK.
In a letter to practices, Mr Isom wrote: ‘Even if you are unable to complete your registration, for example, because you will currently lack details of the approved GP IT supplier/s, registering as a requestor demonstrates that you are complying with the FMD.
Full registration can take place once there is clarification on the funding issue by NHS England.’