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Serious shortage protocols for fluoxetine 40mg and 10mg extended again

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has extended the serious protocols (SSPs) for fluoxetine 40mg capsules and 10mg tablets until September 25 and March 31, 2021.

The SSPs, originally issued in March for fluoxetine 10mg tablets and in May for fluoxetine 40mg capsules, were previously set to expire on September 11 for the former and September 4 for the latter.

However, the protocols have now been extended and will end on September 25 for fluoxetine 10mg tablets and March 31, 2021 for fluoxetine 40mg capsules, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said last week (September 3).

Under the protocols, pharmacists can supply an alternative of two fluoxetine 20mg capsules for every fluoxetine 40mg capsule they need to replace, and fluoxetine 10mg capsules against prescriptions for fluoxetine 10mg tablets.

The SSP for fluoxetine 10mg tablets was originally due to expire on June 12, while the SSP for fluoxetine 40mg capsules initially expired on July 20.

The DH issued the SSPs “in response to significant ongoing disruption to the supply” of both drugs, the PSNC previously said.

Reimbursement will be for “the medicine supplied in accordance with the SSP and not the originally prescribed medicine”, the PSNC last week.

“The reimbursement price will account for VAT payment. Supply in accordance with the SSP will result in the following fees being paid to the contractor: one single activity fee (currently £1.27) [and] one SSP fee (£5.35),” it said.

“Expiry dates of an SSP may be brought forward or extended, and the content may be amended at any time during the life of an SSP.

"Pharmacists should ensure they are using the latest version of an SSP before considering the supply of an alternative product,” the PSNC added.

Have you been affected by these fluoxetine shortages?

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