Pharmacy services Standard available for public comment soon

A new Pharmacy services Standard will soon be available for public comment from Standards New Zealand. The Standard will cover community and hospital-based pharmacy services, and clinical pharmacy services not provided from a pharmacy. Public comment is planned to commence mid-August 2009.

'This is the first time that Standards New Zealand has prepared a Standard for pharmacies – this means that we can now link pharmacies to all of the health Standards, and to the health sector,' says Alan Fraser, development committee Chair.

'The draft Pharmacy services Standard is consistent with, and based on NZS 8134:2008 Health and Disability services Standards. It has been developed by an expert committee, using a consensus-based process that facilitates public input.'

The draft Pharmacy services Standard defines the quality and safety requirements for providing pharmacy services. It will ensure that consumers are clear about their rights and providers are clear about their responsibilities for good and safe outcomes.

It aims to ensure:

  • consumers receive safe services of an appropriate standard that complies with consumer rights legislation
  • consumers receive timely services which are planned, coordinated, and delivered in an appropriate manner
  • services are managed in a safe, efficient, manner which complies with legislation
  • services are provided in a clean, safe environment that is appropriate for the needs of the consumer.

'The draft Pharmacy services Standard is outcome focussed and is therefore enabling; it tells you what you need to achieve, but not how to achieve it,' says Barbara Moore, development committee member from the Pharmacy Council. 'This approach is less prescriptive than previous standards and will allow innovation and a variety of ways to meet the Standard.'

More about the development of the Standard

Pharmacies and the services provided by them were previously required to meet the 'Quality Standards for Pharmacy in New Zealand', 1996 (published by the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand when it was the organisation with the statutory responsibility for pharmacists and pharmacies). It was used with other documents in Ministry of Health Pharmacy Quality Audits of pharmacies.

The Ministry of Health assembled a committee of pharmacy sector experts to establish whether there was a need to develop a Standard for Pharmacy services in New Zealand. The committee agreed that a Standard was required to ensure pharmacy providers supplied good and safe services for consumers.

The Ministry of Health commissioned Standards New Zealand to manage the project to develop a Pharmacy services Standard. An expert committee developed the draft Standard, which is planned for publication in February 2010.

Published in health.