Pharmacists will be able to write letters to their students stating they can no longer pay for the drug they need, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Pharmacists in the UK are currently required to write a letter to the student admitting they have a drug-related problem and requesting payment, but in a letter sent to students in the next few months, the pharmacy manager will be allowed to make a case for why the drug is no longer available.
The pharmacy manager is currently deciding whether to allow a student to make the request themselves, but has already decided not to.
“We are considering this, but are aware that it is not the case in most countries.
This is an example of an issue that has arisen where a drug that has been available for years but is no long-term reliable is not being made available for use by students,” the pharmacy team said in the letter.
The letter is part of a wider policy shift for the UK’s pharmacists, who have long been told to pay more for their drugs.
Previously, if a pharmacy was not able to get a patient to pay for a prescription within a certain period, the pharmacist would have to return the patient’s money.
Now, pharmacists are being asked to pay their students the full cost of their drugs, regardless of whether they can get them to pay.
Pharmacies were previously given the option of paying a fixed price for the drugs, but students have now been able to request a higher amount.
“There is a need for pharmacists to be able [to] ask students if they want to pay less, and the students are being given a choice, they can pay more or they can not,” said Mr O’Brien.
Pharmacist Michael O’Connell said the change will help “change the mindset of pharmacy staff who used to be told to keep their costs down and not try and keep their students waiting.”
“I think we need to make that a little bit more clear, but we are a team and we do have a responsibility, and that is to help our students as best we can,” he said.
The Pharmacy Team said that they would work with the pharmacy and the school to see what the right approach is.
“I’m very glad to hear that the pharmacy has changed their mind about not wanting to provide medication for students, and will now be more sensitive to student needs,” said the team member.
“It’s good to see a change in the attitude of staff to the students as well.”
The pharmacy team in Australia has also changed their stance.
The team member said the new policy was a “huge step forward”.
“I don’t know what to say other than I’m very proud to be part of this,” the team leader said.