How to get going with FMD

This page provides guidance to pharmacy contractors on how to plan for the implementation of FMD and specific issues to consider.

1) Read the UK Community Pharmacy FMD Working Group’s guidance – The Way Forward for FMD in community pharmacy. This covers key assumptions about FMD, high level processes for incorporating authentication into existing dispensing workflows, handling stock transition, what IT systems will need to deliver and the implications for patient safety;

2) Explore the system options – a range of options are available for pharmacy teams to use, including FMD functionality integrated within the pharmacy’s PMR system and standalone systems. Pharmacy contractors can find links to system suppliers on the FMD System Suppliers page;

3) Decide how you want to implement FMD and whether you will take a staged approach. Do you want to use an integrated system (PMR) or a standalone system? Some contractors are choosing to use a standalone system initially, but they then plan to move to use an integrated PMR system in due course. The best solution for each  pharmacy will depend on the individual circumstances of the pharmacy;

4) Select your supplier, contract with them and decide what hardware you need. Look carefully at the length of contract you are signing up to and any exit clauses which may need to be exercised if the final Brexit situation means that the UK cannot be part of the European FMD system. Will your approach to compliance with FMD require additional computer terminals, wired or wireless scanners, mobile devices such as small tablet computers? Are there sufficient power supplies for any such devices, in the location where they will be sited in the pharmacy?

5) Register with SecurMed (“on-boarding”). Each community pharmacy in the UK will need to connect to the SecurMed UK FMD system. The process of identifying legitimate pharmacies and granting them an account to connect is known as registration or “on-boarding”. This can’t be done until you have decided which FMD IT system you will be using. Once you have decided this, visit https://www.securmed.org.uk/register/end-user-registration/ to register. Alternatively, your FMD IT system supplier may be able to register your pharmacy, on your behalf;

6) Finalise the optimal way you will implement FMD in your pharmacy and then revise your SOPs; and

7) Develop your implementation plan and start to train your staff on FMD and the new processes which will be introduced. Check what training resources will be available from your chosen FMD system supplier.

Other issues that pharmacy contractors and their teams need to consider

  • Will you choose to undertake a verification scan when stock first arrives in the pharmacy from wholesalers; as well as identifying any packs which cannot be authenticated, this could support live stock control in the dispensary and in due course could remove the need for most manual dispensary date checking activity;
  • Pharmacy teams need to consider their current dispensary workflows and how FMD could be incorporated into a revised workflow. The implementation of FMD could provide an opportunity for pharmacy contractors to completely revise their workflows to achieve optimal efficiency and use of staff time;
  • How will your FMD system work where prescriptions are handed to patients? Will you need access to the FMD system on or near to your medicines counter? and
  • Pharmacy contractors may want to obtain or create information materials to explain FMD to patients. Information on FMD could be added to your practice leaflet on the next occasion that it is updated.