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circularNovember 18 2015

Health and veterinary professionals requisitioning Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs will need to use an approved mandatory requisition form from November 30. The regulatory changes, which apply to England, Wales and Scotland, also change the approved wording for instalment supply of CDs.

Pharmacists in England will see the introduction of a new approved requisition form, while those in Scotland and Wales, where different legislative approaches will continue to use the approved CD requisition form for their own countries.

The new approved requisition form for England, FP10CDF, is available electronically and “can be downloaded, completed and printed or downloaded and saved locally. Requisitions not received on this mandatory form after 30th November 2015 cannot be accepted,” says NHS Business Services Authority.

The form should be used by any health professional entitled to requisition Schedule 2 and 3 CDs in the community, including from wholesalers. The Home Office circular 027/2015 points out that the list of professionals now includes paramedics and also the person in charge of an organisation providing ambulance services.

“Professionals can complete the form online or download onto local drives prior to the form being completed, printed and signed in wet ink. However, the form is designed to reset anytime it is saved with added data to prevent confidential details of requisitioners falling into the wrong hands,” says the Home Office. There is also an in-built security device which generates a unique code when the form is completed electronically.

For instalment prescribing, the approved wording is set out in an annex to the Home Office circular. “The new wording can be used immediately and can also be mixed and matched to express the prescriber’s intention. However, as usual where this intention is not clear it may be necessary, subject to the professional judgment of pharmacy teams and dispensers, to contact the prescriber,” it says.

The new approved wording is as follows:

  1. Please dispense instalments due on pharmacy closed days on a prior suitable day.
  2. If an instalment’s collection day has been missed, please still dispense the amount due for any remaining day(s) of that instalment.
  3. Consult the prescriber if 3 or more consecutive days of a prescription have been missed.
  4. Supervise consumption on collection days.
  5. Dispense daily doses in separate containers.

As the Home Office anticipates there will be some delay until the new approved wording is incorporated into prescribing software system, leeway is being allowed for the next few months. “It is not the intention that prescriptions which have the old wording should be immediately rejected by pharmacy teams and dispensers,” it says.

“All legal prescriptions which incorporate the old wording and clearly establishes the intentions of the prescriber should be accepted and dispensed as is currently the case, unless in the professional judgment of pharmacy teams and dispensers, there are reasons why these prescriptions should not be accepted.

“Prescribers must therefore use either the new wording or the old wording but not a combination of both or an amended version of the old wording.” The Home Office will review progress on the switching to the new approved wording in three to six months.

The regulatory changes are the last element of the Shipman Report recommendations to be implemented. They are included as part of the Statutory Instrument 2015/891, The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (No. 2) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2015.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has produced a quick reference guide for its members, which explains the changes and provides information on requisition requirements for Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs.

Links:

Home Office Circular 027/2015

SI 2015/891 ‘The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (No. 2) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2015’

RPS announcement

PSNC announcement

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