Our GPhC defence lawyers have extensive experience in defending pharmacists in GPhC investigations. We have a proven track record for preparing persuasive written representations to the GPhC’s Investigating Committee, which make a real difference to the outcome. We also have significant experience of representing pharmacists and pharmacy technicians before the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee.
The GPhC’s Investigating Committee
In GPhC investigations, the Investigating Committee decides if there is a case for the pharmacy professional to answer. Once the GPhC has concluded its investigation, the pharmacist will be given an opportunity to prepare written submissions to the Investigating Committee about the allegations against them.
It is essential to obtain specialist legal advice on any response to the Investigating Committee. Responses which are well drafted can positively impact on the outcome. Poorly drafted representations can be disastrous for the pharmacist.
Accepting or contesting allegations
It is critical at this stage to carefully consider which allegations should properly be contested and which allegations in the circumstances should be accepted and then mitigated. Where allegations are accepted, the written representations must demonstrate insight, remorse and remediation, to persuade the GPhC’s Investigating Committee that there is no risk of repetition.
Where allegations are contested, it is essential to draft a response which is objective, yet still clearly setting out the pharmacist’s position, detailing a robust defence.
The Investigating Committee may:
- dismiss a case;
- issue advice or a warning;
- agree undertakings; or
- refer the matter to the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee.
Cases involving criminal proceedings
We are experienced in defending pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who are unfortunate enough to find themselves dealing with a criminal investigation or caution.
Our expertise includes defending a wide range of criminal allegations, such as:
- Drugs and alcohol;
- Regulatory issues such as matters investigated by the MHRA, Health and Safety Executive and Trading Standards;
- Sexual offences.
Our GPhC lawyers represent pharmaceutical professionals in the police station, the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court. We are always mindful of the significance of the proceedings to the pharmacist, both personally and professionally.
We are mindful of how the criminal proceedings and a related regulatory investigation by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) can impact on each other. We will strive to protect both your career and reputation.
Caution removal applications for pharmacists
We work collaboratively with a specialist solicitor, who provides advice to pharmacists about applications to remove a caution from your record.
GPhC ‘Something to Declare’ forms
We are experienced in assisting pharmacists to satisfy their regulatory responsibility to notify the GPhC about criminal convictions, using the GPhC’s ‘Something to Declare’ forms. A criminal conviction or caution should be declared within 7 days. We can advise you about how much detail to provide to the GPhC and how to mitigate the position, mindful of the need to protect your interests.