The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have agreed to work closer together to help promote the safe use of medicines in the UK.

The groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this week to help them achieve certain objectives and seal their working relationship, which, they say, will be “characterised by regular ongoing contact and open exchange of information”.

The move is designed to help the organisations pool resources and draw on each other’s considerable expertise and, under the new working relationship, they also plan to organise joint training for inspectors and undertake joint investigations where appropriate.

A spokesman for the RPSGB told PharmaTimes UK News that the Society already works collaboratively with MHRA in a wide variety of arenas. For example, the RPSGB working group, set up to consider issues regarding the supply of medicines on the Internet by pharmacies, includes MHRA representatives. And citing another example, the spokesman said the Society also works with the Agency in a medicines quality assurance scheme, by taking samples of medicines from community pharmacies and providing them to the MHRA for testing to ensure their quality.

But although the agencies have worked together in the past and have similar remits, there has been no formal document outlining that collaboration until now, the spokesman explained.

A fruitful relationship
Commenting on the Memorandum of Understanding, Jeremy Holmes, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Society said he is “pleased that the Society is able to strengthen its fruitful relationship with MHRA,” and that the partnership “will improve working procedures, and will help both organisations benefit from each other’s knowledge and expertise”.

And Professor Kent Woods, Chief Executive Officer at MHRA, said he felt the move “will enable a greater interaction between the Society and the MHRA, both working to a common goal of safeguarding public health.”