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Patient Safety Must Come First


This is just a short insight into some of the behind the scenes work I carry out as Commercial Manager at Dispex.

So this is my work today. Sorting through a load of medicine boxes, some are Prescription Only Medicines [POMs] some are Over the Counter [OTC] and some are Pharmacy Only [P] and looking for an “angle”.


One of the Dispex flagship classroom training courses is called Maintaining Dispensing Accuracy and has proved very popular since its inception and launch a few years back. A major part of the training session is a hand’s on interactive test, where the delegates have to review a paper prescription and look at the actual boxes of medicine dispensed against that prescription.

This is a great way to learn. Hands on learning is always best.

The delegates have to check expiry date, whether it’s the correct medicine, strength and formulation and all other details.

So what’s the “angle” I am looking for?

Some OTC items are blacklisted, and can’t be dispensed against an NHS Prescription, so they would need to be re-written on a private prescription for example. The prescription might be for a cream and an ointment has been dispensed, the prescription might have ordered 200mg and 400mg x has been dispensed. My angle is looking for where, when and how a prescription could have been misinterpreted or misread, its all about the angles.

There are ten prescriptions each with two items on. I did think about having one course designed where there were NO dispensing errors for any item. That would be too cruel as I am sure the delegates would spend forever trying to find a mistake that wasn’t there.

I even had a hidden mistake in one course where the surname on the label was spelt very slightly differently to the surname on the prescription. Sometimes I might write a prescription for oral contraception for a male patient... or have two different paracetamol containing items on the same prescription.

Occasionally I use medicines very rarely seen in Primary Care.

The idea is to remind the delegates that the patient’s safety MUST come first at all times. Dispensing Medicines is a very serious task and we aim to raise the standards to the highest possible.

Contact me at if you want to find out more.