Pharmacists can supply antivirals during flu season

Community pharmacists will be able to supply antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of flu during the 2018-19 flu season in England following guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The DHSC said GPs and other prescribers in primary care can prescribe antivirals “at NHS expense” after data revealed an increase in the number of cases of flu in the community.

The PSNC said: “Prescribers may prescribe for patients in clinical at-risk groups as well as those who are at risk of severe illness and/or complications from flu if not treated, in accordance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance and the Selected List Scheme (SLS) in Part XVIIIB of the England and Wales Drug Tariff.

“Community pharmacy contractors who receive FP10 NHS prescriptions, written generically or by brand, for oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza), the antivirals included in the SLS list, are therefore reminded that prescriptions for these products must be endorsed SLS.

“If the SLS endorsement is missing, the prescription should not be dispensed and will not be passed for payment by NHS Prescription Services. Pharmacy staff cannot make the SLS endorsement themselves.”

 

 

Picture: Scharvik (iStock)

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