The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has reported a continued rise in fitness to practise complaints including increase in anti-competitive behaviour.

The GPhC’s most recent fitness to practise update was discussed at its most recent council meeting.

The fitness to practise data showed that the GPhC reported a 29% increase in the number of fitness to practise concerns it received in April.  The pharmaceutical regulator received 318 concerns in April 2020, a 29% increase on the same month last year, when it received 246 complaints.

Interestingly, the nature of many of the complaints received were Covid-19 related including concerns related to hand gel and facemasks.

Other complaints included concerns related to pricing of medicines and possible anti-competitive practices.

The concerns relating to PPE, hand gels and other COVID-19 related products and services were referred to Competitions and Markets Authority “because of their role in relation to profiteering and anti-competitive behaviour.”

The council papers said: “Over 3000 concerns had been received in April 2020, which represented a 40% increase. Many related to pricing of medicines, hand gel and facemasks and some pointed to possible anti-competitive practice.  A consistent approach to pandemic-related concerns was being developed, including by dialogue with the Competition and Markets Authority.”

Some of the 3000 anti-competitive behaviour complaints appear to be attributable to individuals which raised fitness to practise concerns.  However, the GPhC is clearly concerned also with the broader issues of profiteering and anti-competitive behaviour in the pharmaceutical sector.

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