Serious shortage protocols come into force on July 1

The serious shortage protocols (SSPs), special powers allowing community pharmacists to dispense an alternative medicine to the one on a patient’s prescription in the event of a serious shortage, will officially come into force on July 1.

Amendments to the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 were laid before parliament today having been introduced in February.

Under SSPs, pharmacists can dispense a therapeutic equivalent or generic equivalent of a medicine without talking to the patient’s GP in the event of a shortage and dispense a reduced quantity of a medicine or an alternative dosage form.

The PSNC said that from July 1, “where an SSP is in place for a particular product, a retail pharmacy business or a dispensing appliance contractor must consider supplying in accordance with the SSP rather than fulfilling an NHS prescription for that product.”

Pharmacy’s negotiator also said it has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and PMR system suppliers “to agree the endorsements, fees and paperwork that will be associated with SSPs.”





Picture: Jovanmandic (iStock)


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