An online pharmacy which has attracted controversy over its work with a transgender clinic failed to meet the GPhC’s standard for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, the regulator has said.
In a statement today, the GPhC said it identified “serious, system wide failures” when it inspected Clear Chemist. The pharmacy has received national media attention for its dispensing hormones prescribed by online clinic GenderGP, which is registered in Hong Kong and uses EEA-based prescribers.
Clear Chemist failed on five of the regulator’s standards for pharmacy premises, including safeguarding children and vulnerable adults (standard 1.8), ensuring staff have appropriate skills and qualifications (2.2), and delivering pharmacy services safely and effectively (4.2).
Earlier in October, the GPhC said that following the inspection the Liverpool-based online pharmacy agreed to only dispense prescriptions to over-18s who have agreed to speak with their GP.
Today, the regulator announced it had served Clear Chemist with an improvement notice asking it to make wide-ranging changes such as putting in place a comprehensive risk assessment which “must take account of the age range of the patients being treated and the way in which the online prescribers are managing their treatment”.
Clear Chemist must make the required changes by November 18, the GPhC said.
GPhC chief Duncan Rudkin said: “We know that people receiving medicines from Clear Chemist have been concerned about how our actions may affect them.
“We want to reassure everyone that we have not asked the pharmacy to stop supplying medicines to patients undergoing treatment for gender dysphoria. We have directed the pharmacy to make improvements to make sure that people receive medicines that are safe and effective for them.
“Our inspectors will continue to work with the superintendent pharmacist to make the improvements needed and to support continuity of care for the pharmacy’s patients.”