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Private Patient Group Directions - supply selected POMs without prescription

Pharmacy PGD - Patient Group Direction

Increasing the use of PGDs fits well with the move to extend the role of community pharmacy.

Private Patient Group Directions (PGDs) are taking off as never before. They have been around for many years to allow Pharmacists to supply selected POMs without a doctor's prescription. In the past training has been disjointed and spread between different providers. This is no longer the case.

With the NHS in flux some PCT approved PGDs have lapsed. Private PGD providers have moved to fill the gaps.

One provider in particular has developed a comprehensive range of PGDs. Pharmacy PGD from Red Box Healthcare Ltd puts its PGDs online and makes sure the training is as good as it gets. For each of its PGDs there are training pages and an online test of learning.

It is free for Pharmacists to register and access the training materials. Once Pharmacists have trained they download the forms and quick guides they need during consultations with customers. Each PGD comes with its own patient information leaflet. The cost averages £50.00 per PGD per year.

Ease of organisation is important when it comes to delivering PGDs. It is all very well to have a well written patient group direction. They also need to be accessible and useable. Pharmacy PGD provides everything Pharmacists need in one simple to use system.

The website is proving very popular. 1,400 Pharmacists have signed up and are using PGDs in 500+ organisations. Large national multiples are using the service, as well as many single community pharmacies.

The big advantage Pharmacy PGD has over other PGD providers, apart from the range of Private Patient Group Directions available and the price, is the strength of its online system for training and management of PGDs. Each Pharmacist is linked to an organisation and each organisation can see which of their Pharmacists is up-to-date with training. This ‘double lock’ is ideal for governance and oversight. There is no confusion about which Pharmacist is trained for which PGD. There is no confusion about when training needs renewing. Reminder emails are sent prior to expiry of PGD rights.

Pharmacy PGD started 18 months ago by providing PGDs for Malarone and doxycycline for malaria prophylaxis and a PGD for the erectile dysfunction drugs. There are now PGDs for ten different drugs including, influenza, hepatitis B and meningitis vaccines, cystitis antibiotic, contraception and others.

Pharmacy PGD is particularly interested in PGDs with a commercial value for pharmacies. PGDs for travel medicines, malaria drugs, travel vaccines and antibiotics for diarrhoea are already online. New PGDs are being developed all the time, often at the request of Pharmacists themselves.

Pharmacy PGD has experienced doctors and Pharmacists developing its PGDs. The doctors have decades of general practice experience. This helps them to know which services can be provided safely from pharmacies. Safety and governance are always prime concerns. PGDs should augment primary care and integrate with it. Some PGDs include a requirement for completed forms to be copied to doctors’ surgeries.

Pharmacy PGD is not the only private PGD provider. It does have the most advanced software mechanism for PGD delivery and the largest range of PGDs. There are none at a lower cost.

Increasing the use of PGDs fits well with the move to extend the role of community pharmacy. Pharmacists find the extended role rewarding. Online training contributes to continuing professional development (CPD). Patients appreciate the ease of access to new services. This is a field which will grow and grow.


Dr Tony Steele, Suzanne Allan, Dan Broughton
Tel: 0117 2050189 / 0117 9044599
Patient Group Direction Service