It has been debated over the last three years whether a pharmacist can work remotely in crisis situations and it has arisen again considering the pressures we are facing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In March, the GPhC announced that pharmacies could operate in emergencies and only as a last resort, without the pharmacist being present but contactable via video or telephone.

There are many professionals that have doubts about this for obvious reasons, however, if managed correctly could this mean that operating remotely will enable a Responsible Pharmacist to continue the supply of medicines to patients?

It is extremely important to ensure pharmacists are present in pharmacies where they can be, and this is not used as a ‘cost-saving’ exercise. This guidance would be used in rare extreme crisis situations which should be “accountable, transparent and justified” Can pharmacies operate safely without a pharmacist on-site is the biggest question?