Monday, August 15, 2011

Guidance on the provision of pharmacy services affected by religious and moral beliefs

'The General Pharmaceutical Council is the regulator for pharmacists,
pharmacy technicians and registered pharmacy premises in England, Scotland
and Wales. As part of our role, we set the standards which govern the practice
of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

This document provides guidance on standard 3.4 of the standards of conduct, ethics and performance
which states
You must make sure that if your religious or moral beliefs prevent you from providing a service, you
tell the relevant people or authorities and refer patients and the public to other providers.
Status of this guidance
This document gives guidance to pharmacy professionals on what they need to do if their religious or
moral beliefs affect the provision of pharmacy services to patients and the public. Pharmacy
professionals may also need to consider their contractual obligations, such as the NHS Terms of Service,
if they are unable to provide a service.
This document also provides guidance to employers on what they need to do if they employ a pharmacy
professional whose religious or moral beliefs may affect a service they provide.
N.B. The GPhC Council has agreed that this provision will be reviewed during the first 12 months of
operation. '

It states

'If you refer a patient to another pharmacy, check that there will be a pharmacist available there
who can provide the service and that they have the relevant stock.'

I dispense the morning after pill. Except on the rarest of occasions I do not sell it. I do refer prospective purchasers to other providers who will sell it. But no way am I the keeper of my brother's stock levels. I have enough problems maintaining my own.
I will not be making such enquiries. I do not do it for any other product and will certainly not be changing for this.

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