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Pharmacists can supply some CDs with no script if asked by DH

Schedule 2, 3 and part 1 of schedule 4 drugs could be supplied with no script during COVID-19
Schedule 2, 3 and part 1 of schedule 4 drugs could be supplied with no script during COVID-19

New legislation will allow pharmacists to supply certain controlled drugs without a script to patients who have been prescribed them before when given the go ahead by government.

The government passed legislation yesterday (April 29) permitting pharmacists in England, Wales and Scotland to supply medicines in schedule 2, 3 and part 1 of schedule 4, without a prescription “in a pandemic situation”.

The legislation states that the health secretary may activate the legislation by making “an announcement permitting pharmacists without prescribing rights” to issue the medicines patients need in cases where the patient has been prescribed the medication before.

Before making an announcement that relates to Scotland or Wales, the health secretary “must consult” with the ministers in the respective countries, according to the legislation.

Pharmacists may also be allowed “to change the intervals in prescriptions for drugs specified in schedule 2 or 3” during the pandemic, following agreement with the prescriber or – if they are unavailable – a person chosen by the prescriber to “agree this type of change”.

The legislation will also allow pharmacists to supply medicines in schedule 2 to part 1 of schedule 4 under a serious shortage protocol. This applies when “to help manage a serious shortage” the pharmacists might need to “reduce the amount to be supplied” or offer a “different pharmaceutical form of the drug that was prescribed”. This may “not necessarily [be] in a pandemic situation”, the legislation said.


The change in the law will apply only to “the area to which the announcement relates” and “during the period specified in the announcement”, according to the legislation – which was signed by home secretary Priti Patel. Earlier this month, Ms Patel consulted with the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and asked them to “advise on the potential harms or risks” of implementing the measures.

The period to which these measures apply “must initially not be for more than three months”. However, this could be extended for additional periods, “of not more than three months at a time”.

Commenting on the legislation, Royal Pharmaceutical Society President Sandra Gidley said the legislation will help patients “needing ongoing treatment for palliative care or substance misuse therapy” to continue to access their treatment “when the usual means of prescribing and accessing it are unavailable”.

“Now the legislation has been published, we will shortly provide professional guidance for pharmacists who may need to supply controlled drugs under the new measures,” she said.

What do you make of the new legislation?

Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

how will we be able  to claim for the alternative product ? fill in numerous endorsements taking up a lot of time  or a simple new endorsement PNA (product not available ) gave XXXXXX. taking 10 seconds ? the problem with prices going up could have been resolved with NCSO being used. if the DOH thought the price was being inflated they could demand a copy of the invoice , go to the supplier  and obtain a copy of  their purchase invoice . If they are making an excessive profit the DOH could fine the companies as they did with Pfizer . The government wants a reduction in Pharmacy numbers and a number of factors in play at the moment will see them achieve their target . Perhaps Dominic Cummings should be contacted  to see common sense is applied to solve these problems . PSNC seems to get nowhere.






Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Given the technology available, when is a prescribed not going to be able to issue a prescription? Looks like the start of a very slippery slope

Dave Downham, Manager

Easy if you're Ms Patel - 2 x 50mg = twelvty seven

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

No chance because that is common sense which doesn't exist within the DoH

C A, Community pharmacist

"This applies when to help manage a serious shortage the pharmacists might need to reduce the amount to be supplied or offer a different pharmaceutical form of the drug that was prescribed. This may not necessarily [be] in a pandemic situation, the legislation said."

Any chance of doing something useful like letting us do that for normal medications - the amount of time pharmacies are wasting getting a script for tablets instead of capsules, or half the strength and doubling up on quantity dose is ridiculous

- I'm looking at you Sertraline 100mg and Azathioprine 50mg.

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