Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Demise of Pharmacy PGD

It is probably no surprise to you that PharmacyPGD.co.uk seems to have gone out of business. On the front page of their site it states:

We have done a little bit of research and pulled up some articles from the Chemist and Druggist, namely:


In the article, it goes on to explain, not very much. Essentially, it seems like they have closed their doors due to unforeseen circumstance. In the wider community pharmacy arena there is much speculation on the topic.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Untethered Travel Clinic PGDs

You may have missed our launch of the all new Travel Core 2.0 so here are some of our product launch videos. The first one is for Pharmacists who are managers of pharmacies. The idea of the Travel Core 2.0 is to get as many pharmacists under one umbrella as possible, so we can all benefit from our economies of scale.

The second video is meant for pharmacies locums:

If you would like to sign up to the new Travel Core 2.0 please give us a call on: 

020 7971 7777

Monday, 14 March 2016

New Travel Clinic 2.0 Package

After 6 months of research, design and development, today we have released a brand new Travel Clinic package. It is far superior to our previous iterations as we feel we have improved on every aspect of the service. The package has been expertly curated by Mike Bereza our lead clinician.

Highlights include:
  • 3 hours + of updated HD training videos, with real pharmacy practice examples.
  • Online decision making tool to aid you in your clinical decision making.
  • More PGDs, including the popular Meningitis B vaccine Bexsero.
  • Prescriber phone support, which can send you private prescriptions directly if you are uncertain about specific patients.
  • All yours from £300!
These are just some of the exciting new developments. If you are interested in signing up please go to voyagermedical.com or give Mike a call on: 020 7971 7777.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

PGD and Independent Prescribing

Can independent prescriber nurses/pharmacists use PGDs in their daily practice?

In short no. PGDs should only be used in the absence of a prescriber, if the prescriber can write a prescription there should be no need for a PGD. However, as with most things in life, this issue is not so black and white. PGDs are generally used in primary care for those high volume, generally safe medicines which can be given to a well defined group of patients which is usually established via the Specific Product Characteristic (SPC) of the medicine. Whereas healthcare professionals who can prescribe, do not need a well defined group but base their decision on an individual basis i.e. writing a prescription is a type of Patient Specific Direction.

The only possible reason why a prescriber would use a PGD is that although they can prescribe any medicine, they can only prescribe within their own specialty. For instance, if a nurse prescribers specialty was diabetes you would assume that they could prescribe things like:

  • Insulin  
  • Oral hypoglycemics
  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • etc
You would not expect them for instance to be trained to prescribe Emergency Hormonal Contraceptives (EHC) or Hair Loss medication as this would be outside of their scope of practice. In this case the prescriber is in limbo land on one hand they are excluded from using PGDs because they are a prescriber but they cannot prescribe the medicine as this is not in their scope of practice. The easiest answer to this is to undergo some sort of training as per best practice whether this is a course endorsed by the GPhC or NMC.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Pharmacy Influenza Commissioning 2015

PSNC have confirmed a nationally commissioned NHS influenza service for 2015/16 on Monday 20 July 2015. The service is open to any suitably qualified pharmacist working within a pharmacy with a PREM 1 certified consultation room. The NHS England, national commissioning forms the basis of pharmacy vaccination services which may be augmented locally with additional PGDs.

Pharmacies will be reimbursed the cost of the vaccine, and receive £9.14 per administered dose (comprising remuneration of £7.64 plus an additional fee of £1.50 to cover the costs of providing the service).  There will be no separate funding for initial set-up costs, as the £1.50 per dose is intended to cover these.  The service is being funded from NHS England’s annual flu vaccination programme budget.

Key points

  • Available to all pharmacies in England from September 2015.
  • Commissioned on an annual basis.
  • The National PGD only covers NHS vaccinations for those in risk categories above 18 years of age as defined in DoH Flu letter Appendix A.
  • Locally, health authorities may wish to add additional patient groups and vaccines so make sure you are in regular contact with your LPC.
Action points
If you want to take part in this service look at training now:
  • No national training is offered - we can provide you with the training required for this service.
  • Train more than one pharmacist - to cope with demand covering high volume of patients and holiday periods.
  • Involve your pharmacy team - we have videos in our training to support the service
  • Speak to local GPs to work together to ensure patients aren’t confused and targets are met.

Why choose us?

  • 2 hours of HD, in pharmacy footage of how to operate your new service.
  • Ongoing support and point of sales materials to support your training.
  • Training in techniques that suit all vaccination services such as NHS-commissioned services and private PGD travel services.
  • A wider choice of vaccines through an open flu PGD.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Why Mike Bereza left PharmaDoctor

Mike Bereza, as you may know has now moved from PharmaDoctor to Voyager Medical. There were a number of reasons for this, but mainly Mike was looking to make a system which was more pharmacy focused, a system which empowers pharmacist to do more services other than just sell medicines. The internet is both a blessing and a curse, it opens doors to new exciting markets for pharmacists however, it increases liquidity and will inevitably lead to a collapse in drug prices. Mike as a community pharmacy contractor believes the best way forward is to diversify, hence Voyager Medical a community pharmacy service and online pharmacy enabler.

To date, at the new influenza pharmacy PGD provider we have now rebranded the Influenza Vaccine package as the Seasonal Vaccination Programme and we are working closely with Avicenna to bring pharmacists more services. If you would like to register as a user please go to our register page and we will get right back to you.

Watch this space for more developments.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Predicting the Future of UK Community Pharmacy

Okay what do we know...

  • NHS is overburdened, its in huge debt, if something gives the whole thing will come down.
  • There is an ageing population which needs to be cared for, even more burden on the NHS and social care.
  • As of 2012 they are moving lots of services into the private sector and the NHS is footing the bill.
So where does community pharmacy fit into this?

Firstly, the current community pharmacy model is extremely inefficient. The government is essentially paying for pharmacy graduates to put labels on boxes. A lot of the work a high street community pharmacy does can be outsourced and have medicines delivered to the patient's door which is extremely useful in light of the ageing population.

Its not to say that there won't be room for traditional community pharmacies on the high street but it definitely means there will be less. Currently, there is an explosion of "distance pharmacy" contracts opening up, in Islington we already have three new contracts. A lot of pharmacists do not even understand what a "distance pharmacy" is. Basically, it is a pharmacy without a shop front. They make sense as retail from pharmacy is dead, dependent on where you are you would be lucky to clear £200 profit on retail in a day.

Distance pharmacy owners know this, they operate out of low rent offices (I have seen one in a portacabin in a carpark), significantly lowering overheads and they can easily upscale. One online pharmacy I visited had 8 ACTs and 12 assistants and one pharmacist. They pushed through 50k Rx a week.

So in light of this, what hope does your average community pharmacy have?

Is the glass half empty or half full? Whenever, in any industry there is disruption in the market, the businesses which survive are those which diversify out of the traditional model and enter a niche. So what will pharmacy look like in 10 years?
  • There will be more Independent prescribers and PGDs will become more established. Pharmacy will become a convenient triage system between themselves and doctors/hospitals.
  • There will be more private, easy to access services from pharmacy, which significantly reduces secondary care burden.
  • The majority of prescriptions will be electronic, there will be an establishment of large online pharmacies which patients can easily elect to receive their prescriptions and have their medicines delivered straight to their door.
  • As more low cost pharmacies come to fruition, as they have lower overheads this will inevitably effect the global sum which will decrease even though more medicines are being prescribed.
  • Pharmacists will be more involved in preventative healthcare. The NHS has established that to prevent is better to cure, and a damn sight cheaper. As their is a pharmacist on every high street in the UK, patients will present with portable biometric data for the pharmacist to interpret. For instance a patient comes in and shows the pharmacist their real time data on their BM, BP, Weight, HR, Pedometry and the pharmacist offer tailored advice.
The issue is that pharmacists are happy with what they are doing and do not want to disrupt the status quo. They would rather hide under a stone and weather the storm, however, its not a storm, its a change in climate. Its good news for new pharmacists, with fresh clinical skills, as they can move dynamically, embrace technology and show what a pharmacist can really do. However, as for the majority of independents pharmacists who own their own businesses and ultimately hold the power, this is the real rate limiting step to the progression of the profession.

Pick up the pace or walk away.