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Pharmacies ordering prescriptions online

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  • Pharmacies ordering prescriptions online

    Is this another attempt to 'lock patients' into a particular pharmacy (or group)?
    We have had a CCG lockdown on ordering prescriptions for patients.
    Surely this would also apply to ordering online for patients?

    So the patient calls the pharmacy and the pharmacy order the prescription for the patient?
    Similarly if there is a patient App?
    I can see the patient App being surrounded by 'buy this and that' while you are ordering your script.
    Giving the chance for the patient to trigger 'big data' targeted material.

    Not sure why the patient can't go to the GP portal and take care of things for themselves?

    So therefore it is to keep the patient close to a pharmacy or group?

    Or have I missed something deeper other than the aforementioned?

    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
    How times change.

    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

  • #2
    It is an attempt to lock the patients in.

    However there is another aspect to it - GDPR. Data is special data. If you have it done centrally by a website you're ensuring consistency and compliance as well as the myriad of other issues - see below for merely a few.

    I and others have argued that it is not legal for a pharmacy to casually order medications over the phone, it isn't legal to fax (everyone agrees on this except OOH and a few daft people in surgeries that don't know any better) and it's not legal to moronically drive printed out bits of paper to surgeries to order as a substitute for faxes. As a starter for ten it's not good enough to just say oh we have 'consent' and it's not a fax therefore we can order. Infact it's not any more proportionate to be ordering prescriptions over the phone or driving bits of paper to surgeries than it is faxing.

    Your legal basis for processing gets quite muddy because the pop guide to this stuff people assume that for normal data consent ticks all the boxes (it doesn't, it's a much stricter sounding affair than general parlance) and for special data 'explicit consent' is required. When ordering prescriptions you have to hit both requirements article six and article nine.

    Another dark area is that of who is processing the data. For 9h data that's very interesting indeed as it's supposed to be a technician or pharmacist having responsibility.

    Interestingly enough, the PSNC whose analysis I generally regard as a decent guide but not stringent enough, doesn't list ordering of medications as a pharmacy service. Ho ho ho. I wonder why?

    It does, erroneously in my opinion, list home delivery service, curiously enough not making a distinction between free and paid (I would) and the lawful basis for articles 6 and 9 being 'public duty' and flirts with the idea of 'legimate interests' whilst a9 is 'treatment of patients' and not 'management of a healthcare system'. It's also why in the data systems that have evolved we have to record everything in pharmacy and SCR stuff has such stringent checks.

    In terms of what you're talking about, I think one of the problems was the DPIA stuff wasn't published at launch of GDPR, which was a large mistake.

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    • #3
      A lock in and creating patient dependency on the service sounds like a commercial reason for this.
      Can't think of many pharmaceutical benefits that aren't addressed by other mechanisms.
      Looks like an extension of the era when the pharmacy team are responsible for ordering, dispensing and delivering it all.
      Taking us into a new era of raised expectations and developing more reasons for patients to complain.


      47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
      2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
      How times change.

      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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      • #4
        I don't think it's legal for pharmacies to order patient's prescriptions (except the most vulnerable or where there's an explicit contract where the patient's paying for delivery and ordering). However even if I did think it's legal I don't think it should be and the various disputed areas having it done centrally makes it more GDPR compliant. That isn't the main motivation, the main motivation is for efficiency and what you are talking about.

        Obviously very interesting Boots buying a tech company for prescription ordering.

        One of the conversations I've had is over competency. Some surgeries don't know what they are doing and occasionally have mass password resets on systmonline which enrages patients. Annoying, but not my problem. They need to be complaining to the surgery rather than avoidance behaviour of ordering through us, we lose money etc.

        It's just plain bonkers individual pharmacies ordering medication for normal patients with fully functioning brains, fit, mobile and relatively physically healthy adults. It's incredibly inefficient and wastes far more time than the managers budget for. Centralising it does make sense to me, even if it's not ethical. If you believe that it's legal to order scripts or believe it should be it's the next logical step.

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        • #5
          Our local pharmacies can no longer order on our behalf. I order my scripts on SystmOnline via the surgery
          johnep

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          • #6
            Our pharmacy covers 2 councils, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Cambridgeshire has stopped the pharmacies ordering on patientsv behalf, but Norfolk hasn't as yet. Patients at the Norfolk surgeries still expect us to order for them.

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            • #7
              Surely, surely there has to be be some sort of personal responsibility about this. I have three routine medications; would I want them coming automatically? If they were being delivered to my house maybe, but personally I'd rather put a request into the surgery and collect from the pharmacy a couple of days later. I'm not sure, too, that I think it's good practice for someone with a financial interest in my medications to be ordering them. I saw the bad consequences of that too often when I was working!

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              • #8
                You also have the patients who when asked, say reorder the same again for next month without looking at what they have at home already. We have had carrier bags full of unused medicines returned to our pharmacy by a family member when a patient has died.

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                • #9
                  I know my wife is quite selective about what she orders for her repeat and generally checks what she has in the house first.

                  Regardless of what she's ticked more often than not they'll just issue everything at the GP's as it's easier for them. Pharmacies shouldn't always be given the kicking. Both GP's and patients need to take their share of the responsibility as well.
                  I remember when a blog was an individual boot.

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