The Pharmacy Act 2007 established the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) and the functions of the Society are set out in the Act. The functions of the PSI are carried out on its behalf by the Council of the Society.
Section 30 of the Pharmacy Act 2007 provides for an exception to the general provision in the Act which requires the sale and supply of medicines at a pharmacy to be conducted under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist and specifies that no offence is committed where a registered pharmaceutical assistant “acts on behalf of a registered pharmacist during the temporary absence of the registered pharmacist”.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2019 were developed by the PSI in accordance with Section 30 of the Pharmacy Act 2007, which also permits the Council to make rules as to:
1. What may or may not be done by a registered pharmaceutical assistant when acting on behalf of a registered pharmacist; and
2. What constitutes the temporary absence of a registered pharmacist.
On 8 March 2019, the PSI submitted the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Temporary Absence of Pharmacist from Pharmacy) Rules 2019 to me for my consent, in accordance with the requirements of the Pharmacy Act 2007.
Under the Pharmacy Act 2007, my role in relation to this process is limited to the consideration of any such Rules once submitted for my consent.
As the Rules submitted to me are currently subject to legal challenge and I am a party to the proceedings I will not be commenting further on the matter.