First community pharmacy in the country to become FMD compliant

06 Dec 2018

A community pharmacy in Bolton is believed to be the first in the UK to become fully compliant with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).

Market Pharmacy connected to the UK Medicines Verification System last week and is thought to be the first in the country to have a product decommissioned and recommissioned.


The pharmacy is part of the Hollowood Chemists group owned by NPA board member Raj Patel MBE.  Raj is a director of SecurMed UK Limited and chairs the UK FMD Working Group which brings together the main pharmacy bodies representing community pharmacy to influence and inform the implementation of FMD in the UK.


He said: “There’s no need to wait until the FMD compliance deadline in February.  My pharmacies wanted to make a start now, to uncover any implementation problems and resolve them ahead of time.  I’m pleased to say that everything went smoothly.”


Gareth Jones, Head of Corporate Affairs at the NPA said: “The NPA is working hard to provide as much information on FMD as possible, to help members get prepared.  With the clock ticking, we are advising members to start planning now and not to delay preparations. While Brexit creates uncertainty it won’t stop FMD becoming an obligation from 9 February.  We do however advise you to avoid getting tied into long term contracts with IT suppliers, given the uncertainty about what may happen after 29 March.”


The FMD system being used by Market Pharmacy is a standalone solution offered by NPA business partner FMD IT.


The NPA advises that more benefits are likely to be delivered through a system integrated within a PMR ultimately, but in the short-term keeping the FMD process separate may be an attractive option for many pharmacies.   Whether you choose PMR-integrated or standalone, the NPA strongly advises its members to check the contract length and exit terms – given the range of Brexit scenarios, contracts should have exit clauses.


FMD, which aims to reduce the risk of counterfeit products entering the medicine supply chain, requires the packaging of medicines to have a 2D-barcode containing the pack’s unique identifier and an anti-tampering device, both of which must be checked at various points in the supply chain. For each pack, pharmacies will have to check the integrity of the anti-tampering device and scan the 2D barcode to mark the pack as decommissioned (e.g. dispensed) in the national database.


There are now only 10 weeks until FMD becomes mandatory, on 9 February.  To support members the NPA has launched its first phase of updated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  More FMD-version SOPs will be created in the coming weeks. Go to for more information.