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Medicines management message

8 August 2017

The safe and secure handling of medicines is the responsibility of every healthcare professional, who must ensure that they work within their profemedicinesssional guidelines, ethics and codes of conduct.

The four core principles that underpin the safe and secure handling of medicines are

  • Establish governance arrangements – ‘say what we do and why we do it
  • Ensure capacity and capability – ‘train people and ensure they have the necessary resources’
  • Undertake assurance – ‘do what we say and prove it’
  • Seek to improve – ‘improve what we do

These four core principles are to be applied to the physical handling processes involved in each stage of the medicines pathway. The medicines pathway covers all potential activities that are associated with the handling of a medicine, from obtaining the medicine through to use or administration, and the disposal of any waste. The pathway is a multistage process and controlled links are to be established between the relevant stages.

The principles are also to be applied to the transport of medicines between all stages, storage and security of medicines, product integrity and health and safety of staff at all stages. All of these transfer links require the same attention to detail in order to retain overall control of the medicine. Arrangements for transport of controlled drugs (CDs), medical gases need to comply with current legal requirements.

If in doubt, please ask the medicine governance team.


Carol-Anne Davies-Jones

Chief Pharmacist

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