The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland – the Pharmacy Regulator has launched its latest Corporate Strategy setting out the regulator’s key objectives until 2023.
Developed against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new strategy recognises the need to enhance the resilience of the sector over the coming years, given its evolving role within the future integrated system.
It also sets out the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland’s (PSI’s) plans for developing a more effective regulatory model for community pharmacies which are recognised as a critical part of our healthcare system. The regulator’s ‘digital first’ business transformation programme is also be completed on a phased basis over the lifetime of the plan.
“Our role as regulator is to assure the public’s continued trust in pharmacy through effective regulation,” said Niall Byrne, Registrar and Chief Officer, PSI.
“Under this strategy, we are committed to working with stakeholders to help make the pharmacy sector as resilient as possible for the future as well as helping shape the evolving role of the pharmacy sector within the future, more integrated model of healthcare delivery.”
The Registrar added: “Significant changes have occurred in recent years in pharmacy practice with the role of pharmacists expanding. The pandemic has led to additional changes and further amplified the benefits of the reorientation of the health system towards integrated care through the implementation of Sláintecare.
“For our part, we are committed, over the lifetime of this strategy and via the annual service plans that we will develop to deliver it, to actions that will facilitate continued high-quality, and where necessary enhanced, healthcare provision by pharmacists.
“Furthermore, we will continue our work to reform and develop our regulatory frameworks so that we can be the most effective type of pharmacy regulator; one which adds value for the public without imposing undue burden.
“A key focus over the next three years will be the continued development of outcome-based standards, such as our Covid-19 Operational Standards, which we developed during 2020.
“Ease of engagement is critical to effective regulation, and we are committed to making it easier for our stakeholders to engage with us through a digital-first approach. Our transformation in this regard is well underway and will be delivered on a phased basis, starting with the launch of a new streamlined registration platform in 2021.
“This new platform will provide registrants with a single online point of contact with the PSI. It will also make it easier for the public and patients to access information on our public register – from details of a pharmacy’s supervising pharmacist to its opening hours.”
President of the PSI, Joanne Kissane, described the PSI’s new three-year strategy as providing much needed strategic continuity rather than radical strategic change.
“Currently, there are 20 million plus visits to pharmacies each year and 80 million plus items dispensed annually, and we can expect those figures to rise significantly. By 2030, the share of the population aged 65 and over is projected to grow from one in eight to one in six, while the number of people aged over 85 is projected to almost double.”