Pharmacies in England can now dispense controlled drugs through the electronic prescription service (EPS).
NHS Digital said GP practices can send all schedule two and three controlled drugs electronically via EPS with the exception of oral liquid methadone which will still need a paper NHS FP10 (green) prescription.
NHS Digital said that was because “dispensing systems are unable to endorse electronic prescriptions with a packaged dose endorsement.”
The move to get controlled drugs dispensed via EPS follows a successful pilot covering 64 GP practices which started last October.
It is hoped it will reduce the administrative burden on GP practices and pharmacies, ensure prescriptions are not lost and lessen the likelihood of errors.
“Being able to receive prescriptions for controlled drugs electronically is a welcome improvement to the Electronic Prescription Service,” said Martin Bennett, chairman and superintendent pharmacist at Sheffield-based Associated Chemists (Wicker) Ltd.
“It will speed up the process, reduce the potential of errors when prescriptions are hand written and make the dispensing of controlled drugs safer and more secure."
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