Pharmacy Voice responds to GMC study into prescribing errors

Pharmacy Voice has responded to the findings of a study into GP prescribing which found that around 1 in 20 prescriptions written by family doctors contained an error. 

The research, commissioned by the General Medical Council looked at a sample of GP practices in England and found that the most common errors were missing information on dosage, prescribing an incorrect dosage, and failing to ensure that patients got necessary monitoring through blood tests.

Ian Facer, Chairman of Pharmacy Voice said:

“With millions of prescription items issued by GPs each day, some errors are perhaps inevitable - so it is important to have a safeguard against patient harm; that safeguard is provided by local pharmacies.

“Pharmacists perform clinical checks on many millions of prescriptions dispensed in pharmacies each year.  The intervention of community pharmacies prevents the vast majority of prescribing errors materialising into harm to the patient.

“Local pharmacists work in partnership with GPs to ensure the effective and safe use of medicines.  Teamwork between the whole primary care team – GP and local pharmacy included – is vital.  When the pharmacist spots an error, he will speak urgently with the GP practice and will not supply the medicine until he is satisfied it is safe and appropriate for the patient.”

Pharmacy Voice is the voice of community pharmacy owners in England. 

For further information, please contact the NPA Press Office on 01727 795901 or 07920 203051, or email

The NPA is the UK’s leading trade body for community pharmacy.  Its core purpose is to represent, support and protect the interests of all community pharmacy across the UK.