A regulator has slammed a pharmacy for bypassing safeguards to distribute puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has said that Clear Chemist has “serious system-wide failures in the governance and management of risk”.
The pharmacy obtains its prescriptions from GenderGP, a gender clinic which exploits a loophole allowing prescriptions to be dispensed from Switzerland or a European Economic Area (EEA) country.
GenderGP, now owned by a Hong Kong company, was founded by Helen Webberley, who moved the business to Spain after she was suspended by the General Medical Council in 2018 for operating the clinic without a licence.
After the GPhC’s investigation of Clear Chemist, it said that it had found a “lack of safeguarding, which presents a risk to patient safety”.
It added that the pharmacy created “additional risks of working with prescribers based in the EEA and working outside UK regulatory oversight”.
Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said that it had not told Clear Chemist to stop dispensing the drugs but that inspectors will work to ensure the necessary changes are made.
Last month, NHS England’s only gender identity clinic for under 18s defended prescribing hormone blockers to children as young as ten.
Fenella Morris QC, representing the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, told the High Court that several ten-year-olds had already received the drugs at their clinic.
Detransitioner Keira Bell is taking action against the Trust to make it illegal for children to be prescribed hormone treatments.