What will change for my pharmacy?

As a community pharmacy, you'll need to check two new safety features before you supply and dispense any prescription medicines:

  1. Check the anti-tampering device (ATD) is still intact.
    Checking the ATD is a simple, visual check to see whether the tamper-proof security seal is intact. If necessary, you can unseal packs during dispensing (for split packs, reconstitution or labelling of components), but it should be intact at the start of the process.
  2. Authenticate the unique identifier (a 2D barcode) printed on the pack.
    Authentication is done by scanning the 2D barcode (or data matrix) on the pack. The data on the barcode will then be compared to data uploaded onto a national database by the manufacturers. If the data matches and the ATD is intact, the pack can be dispensed and handed to the patient. It will then be decommissioned.

Even if you are holding packs of a generic line made by different manufacturers, each pack will have its own unique number. This means you'll need to scan each individual pack to make sure it hasn't been falsified. Parallel import products will also have unique identifiers, and these should be scanned in the same way as other branded and generic prescription medicines. Non-prescription medicines do not need to be checked.


Understanding the FMD process

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Stock Received

Your community pharmacy will receive stock from Alliance Healthcare as normal, without any changes to your procedure.

Stock received

Check Stock (Optional)

Checking stock at this stage is optional, but products can be verified to check for alerts or recalls.

SecurMed UK (National Medicines Verification System - NMVS)

Check stock (Optional)

Dispense Medications

Check anti-tampering device

Carry out authentication and decommission scanning for dispensed items using the 2D barcode

SecurMed UK (National Medicines Verification System - NMVS)

Dispense medications

Hand over to patient

If the ATD is intact and the authentication scan is OK, dispense the products and hand them over to the patient as normal.

Hand over to patient


What will stay the same for my pharmacy?

The paperwork and processes for receiving products from Alliance Healthcare will not change, and you will still need to record stock entering your pharmacy in the same way. There are no requirements to scan individual products or aggregated barcodes on receipt of goods, and there will be no impact on stock management until the product is picked as part of dispensing.

What equipment will my pharmacy need?

A pharmacy system compatible with FMD

Whether you decide to upgrade an existing system or invest in a stand-alone FMD Patient Medication Record (PMR) system, you must be able to carry out the following tasks:

  • Complete verification, decommissioning and recommissioning scans
  • Provide ‘success' or ‘error' messages to users
  • Handle message requests in the correct sequence
  • Allow manual entry of unique identifier (UI) data (on exceptional circumstances)
  • Remain active at all times, even when offline, with the ability to automatically reconnect.

It is essential that your system is connected to the National Medicines Verification System, SecurMed UK.


Community pharmacies will need scanners capable of reading a range of different barcodes, including: linear, 2D data matrix, QR, prescription or token barcodes, and aggregated barcodes.

There are various options available, so pharmacy owners should consider whether the additional costs of wireless scanners will offer more flexibility in the dispensary.

You will also need to have spare scanners and maintenance arrangements in place. To find out more about the FMD software and equipment available to you, contact your PMR supplier.