Layer 1

Expect pregabalin and gabapentin EPS scripts as paper before April

All EMIS practices will issue paper FP10 prescriptions for pregabalin and gabapentin by February 15
All EMIS practices will issue paper FP10 prescriptions for pregabalin and gabapentin by February 15

Following a change to EMIS GP systems, pharmacies will receive electronic pregabalin and gabapentin scripts in paper form earlier than planned, PSNC has said.

The drugs – used to treat anxiety, nerve pain and epilepsy – will be placed in schedule 3 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, but will be excluded from the requirement to be stored in a safe, the Home Office announced in October.

Pregabalin and gabapentin will be classified as controlled drugs on April 1, which means from this date pharmacies will only be able to accept physically-signed prescriptions – rather than electronic copies – unless the script arrives from a GP practice involved in the NHS Digital pilot (see more below).

However, changes to the EMIS GP system are already being made ahead of April, to revert pregabalin and gabapentin electronic prescription service (EPS) scripts to paper, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said on Friday (February 8).

All GP practices using EMIS will be updated by February 15, it added.

“If a local GP practice uses the EMIS clinical system, once their software has been updated, prescriptions for pregabalin and gabapentin will be issued as paper FP10s, not EPS prescriptions,” PSNC said.

“If a patient’s other prescription items are issued via EPS, there is a risk that the paper script for pregabalin or gabapentin may not be collected from the GP practice,” it added.

“Pharmacy teams should advise patients that the paper script will need to be collected from the practice – or the pharmacy could offer to collect the script for the patient if you provide a prescription collection service,” the negotiator advised.

Controlled drugs EPS pilot

NHS Digital is currently piloting a system to allow GP practices to prescribe schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs through the EPS, PSNC said.

“It is hoped that some GP clinical systems will be able to roll out this functionality in the near future,” it added.

What do you make of pregabalin and gabapentin becoming controlled drugs?

Marc Brooks, Community pharmacist

What an absolute shambles.

Firstly, how long does it take to sort out the I.T to send CD prescriptions electronically?

Secondly, why not wait until that time before amending the regualtions?


I assume nobody is listening to PSNC or RPS in the NHS?




Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

Having all pregabalin and gabapentin scripts on green paper scripts is literally a move going backwards and creating unnecessary workload and hassle. I'm not against rescheduling and I actually do think these need tighter control, but why not simply roll out ETP on all cd scripts nationally? Do these regulators and law-makers even know what they are doing? Or they simply too thick to understand how it works?  

Leon The Apothecary, Student

A step backwards when it would make sense to delay until CD EPS comes into full effect.

C A, Community pharmacist

Locally we are already getting gabapentin and pregabalin on paper scripts (surgeries use EMIS).

Peed Off Superintendent, Superintendent Pharmacist

Wake up everyone, the N in PSNC does not stand for 'negotiating'.

Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

They should have announced all scripts must be available in electronic form from April 1st including CD scripts. It is possible that Pharmacists would have decided that  was an early April fools prank . After all that would be the sensible thing to do . VKP why dont you now employ another member of staff for this function ?



V K P, Community pharmacist

sure, send the monies through.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Question still not answered - will emergency supplies for gabapentin and pregabalin be allowed for epilepsy (c.f. phenobarbital) come 1st April?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Currently, there is no specific exemption for Gabapentin and Pregabalin, so no - you shouldn't issue an emergency supply. And if it's regularly being used like that, FP10 Repeat Dispensing would be a good method to ensure you don't have to.

C A, Community pharmacist

Is anyone actually on gabapentin or pregabalin for epilepsy?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Shame that putting CDs onto EPS is still taking its sweet time. I'm sure pharmacies are already bracing themselves for additional grief for this from patients.

Kevin Murphy, Superintendent Pharmacist

That'll be fun to deal with for Pharmacy2U and every other distance seller. High volume of paper Rxs to chase remotely. 

V K P, Community pharmacist

pharmacy could offer to collect the script for the patient if you provide a prescription collection service,” the negotiator advised.  have the negotiators thought of negotiating a fee for this collection service?????????? why not? 

the pharmacy does not have an abundance of staff who are lazing around for them to be sent to collect prescriptions which the practice has printed. the people that have printed it should be responsible to make the patient aware of the prescription awaiting collection. how is the pharmacy team to guess or look into a crystal ball and realize that a prescription is printed at the gp practice?? fantastic from the negotiators. once again they have gone and agreed a loss for the contractors. they are a waste of space. is there anyone on the PSNC who is actually practicing in a community pharmacy on a regular basis to understand the operational procedures so that they can then respond appropriately to the non sense that comes from the top (DH)????


Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Midlands, Cheshire & Dorset
Salary dependent upon experience