Things to do and things to know in community pharmacy across the UK
Gluten-free products – NHS prescribing restrictions
From December 2018, it is expected that gluten-free (GF) products prescribed on the NHS will be restricted to bread and mixes only, following an announcement made by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) earlier this year. The restriction is likely
to affect pharmacy contractors holding stock of GF products and they should consider the implications of this when ordering stock between now and December 2018.
The DHSC previously declared its decision to restrict GF prescribing to bread and mixes only following a consultation conducted between March and June 2017. Following this, the GF foods that will no longer be allowed on the NHS include biscuits, cakes, cereals, cooking aids, flours/grains and pasta.
On 21 August 2018, the DHSC launched an additional consultation that stipulates the draft regulations that permit the change and explains the actions required to implement the changes. The suggested changes are:
• GF products which have been discontinued/withdrawn by manufacturers/suppliers will be removed from Part XV (Borderline Substances or ‘ACBS’ list) of the Drug Tariff.
• The NHS (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc.) Regulations 2004, often referred to as the “Blacklist”, will be revised to prevent prescribers from supplying GF products (apart from breads/mixes) on NHS prescriptions
Pharmacy contractors should dispense any outstanding prescriptions (including owings) for GF products (except GF breads/mixes) before these products are disallowed on NHS prescriptions in England.
Further details and updates will be communicated to NPA members accordingly.
Be ready for Stoptober 2018 – order your free toolkit
Stoptober 2018, the national 28-day stop smoking campaign from Public Health England (PHE) launched on 20 September 2018. The campaign, which motivates smokers to quit smoking from 1 October 2018, is based on research showing that a smoker who is able to stop smoking for 28 days is five times more likely to be able to quit smoking for good. The campaign helps smokers find the best available support for them instead of going “cold turkey”; free support includes an app, daily emails, Facebook messenger and plenty of motivation via the Stoptober online community on Facebook.
Previously, the Stoptober toolkit was distributed to community pharmacy teams without the need to be ordered; this year, however, pharmacy teams wishing to take part in the campaign are required to order the free toolkit. In some areas, local arrangements are in place for automatic delivery (check with individual Local Pharmaceutical Committees to confirm local arrangements).
The toolkit contains the following:
• A4 posters x 2 • A5 leaflets x 50 • A5 leaflet dispenser x 1
• Briefing sheet x 1 • Shelf wobblers x 2 • Window cling x 1 The free toolkit is available to order online from the PHE
Campaign Resource Centre or via the pharmacy order line by telephone on 0300 123 1019 and quoting “STOP18-PHA”. Pharmacy teams who have achieved Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1 status (or are working towards accreditation) can consider taking part in the campaign in order to show evidence that they meet the HLP Level 1 quality criteria. NPA members are reminded of the NPA HLP resources available to help them meet this quality criterion.
Scotland NPA member forum
The next Scottish NPA member forum will be in the Glasgow Emirates Arena from 10am to 2.30pm on Tuesday 13 November 2018. The forum receives excellent feedback as being a great networking opportunity between NPA members and a useful platform to gain information and discuss what matters to independent community pharmacy. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.