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DH extends 11 HRT and penicillin SSPs until late April

The government has extended 11 serious shortage protocols (SSPs) for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and penicillin, the pharmacy negotiator has announced.

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) last week (March 31) announced that the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) had “further extended” 11 SSPs that were due to expire at the end March.

The following SSPs for HRT medicine Sandrena and antibiotic Pen V (Phenoxymethylpenicillin) now have a new expiry date of April 28:

  • SSP029 for Sandrena 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – restriction 
  • SSP030 for Sandrena 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – substitution 
  • SSP031 for Sandrena 0.5mg and 1mg gel sachets – substitution and restriction 
  • SSP040 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free 
  • SSP041 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free 
  • SSP042 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution
  • SSP043 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution
  • SSP044 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution sugar free
  • SSP045 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution 
  • SSP046 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution sugar free
  • SSP047 for Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg tablets

Read more: DH issues new estradiol patch SSP as HRT tablets also out of stock until June

The SSPs were previously due to expire on March 31, PSNC said.

HRT shortages have plagued pharmacists for months, with the latest SSP issued just last week.

And it comes as the new HRT pre-payment certificate (PPC) – which the government has admitted will create additional “costs” for pharmacies – came into force over the weekend (April 1).


Antidepressant SSP expires


Meanwhile, PSNC also said on Friday that an SSP in place for antidepressant Fluoxetine would expire.

SSP005 Fluoxetine 10mg tablets expired at 23.59pm on March 31 and is no longer valid for use.

Read more: Government admits HRT PPC will create additional 'costs' for pharmacies


PSNC said that while an SSP cannot be used outside its period of validity, claims can be submitted “up to three calendar months after expiry or withdrawal of the SSP”.


This will “help manage any owings for other items issued on the same prescription form”, it added.

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