Analysis of enquiries to the National Pharmacy Association following major changes to controlled drug legislation in the UK
Gallagher, C. T.
Flynn, R. W.
Objectives The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) provides an advice service to community pharmacists in the UK, and keeps a database of the enquiries it receives. The aim of this research was to analyse the database for the period of October 2007 to March 2008 to gain an insight into how well pharmacists coped with legislative changes directly affecting pharmacy by identifying which changes generated the most enquiries during these 6 months and ascertaining in which months these queries were at their highest levels. Methods Anonymised telephone enquiries regarding controlled drugs (CDs) received by the NPA from pharmacists during a 6-month period were reviewed and categorised according to the legislative change or other CD issue to which they related. A Poisson model was applied to determine whether there was a significant difference in the total number of CD queries generated each month. Key findings Altogether 6082 queries regarding CDs were received, of which 57% related to legislative changes. The three legislative changes that took place during the 6-month period all generated a significant increase in numbers of queries around the time of the change. Queries regarding the new form of CD register comprised the largest single category. Conclusions Community pharmacists seek information regarding legislative changes when such changes come into force to a greater degree than when the legislation is drafted, consulted upon or enacted. The high number of queries received by the NPA does reflect that there was a difficulty in applying the various legislative changes in practice.