The Minister for Health launched the 2015 annual report of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (“PSI”) on 23 August 2016. The PSI is the statutory body tasked with the regulation of pharmacists and retail pharmacies in Ireland.

The role of the PSI includes management of complaints received in respect of both pharmacists and pharmacies.

Number of Complaints Received

The report highlights a significant decrease in the number of complaints received by the PSI in 2015. 27 formal complaints were received in 2015, compared with 51 in 2014. This represents a decrease of almost 50%

Types of Complaints

The greatest number of complaints related to dispensing errors (9), closely followed by complaints related to behaviour / professionalism of pharmacists (8). A further four complaints related to health impairment of pharmacists. The report indicates there were 5,645 pharmacists on the register of pharmacists at the end of 2015.

Sources of Complaints

63% of the complaints received were made by members of the public. Almost 19% of the complaints were made by pharmacists / pharmacies. Complaints from the Registrar of the PSI accounted for over 7% of complaints.

Inquiries and Sanctions

The Professional Conduct Committee of the PSI held 10 Inquiries in 2015, with the Health Committee hearing one Inquiry. A variety of sanctions were imposed by the Council following these Inquirires, including:

  • Four adminishments/censures
  • Attachment of conditions to the registration of two pharmacists
  • Cancellation of the registration of one pharmacist.

12 new complaints were referred forward for Inquiry before the Professional Conduct Committee or Health Committee in 2015.

Patient Charter

The Minister also launched the first pharmacy patient charter, which has been developed by the PSI. The Charter is available here.

The Minister said that the new Charter would “empower patients to work with and harness the growing expertise of our community pharmacists in keeping people well and managing ill health.”

The Registrar and CEO of the PSI described the Charter as “an aid to improve public understanding of the pharmacist’s role and the expanding range of services in community pharmacy, which should always have at its centre the health, wellbeing and safety of patients”.

Further information on the annual report and the patient charter is available here.