The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has advised pharmacists to consider each prescription for gabapentin and pregabalin written, signed and dated before April 1 “on an individual basis “ and contact the prescriber for a replacement prescription where necessary.
The medicines were reclassified yesterday as schedule 3 controlled drugs under new legislation and the RPS offered pharmacists guidance on how to handle gabapentin and pregabalin prescriptions moving forward.
The professional leadership body said pharmacists should consider each prescription in isolation, take “a patient-centred approach,” use their professional judgement and, “where appropriate,” contact “the prescriber for a replacement prescription that meets the requirements.”
On prescriptions for gabapentin and pregabalin waiting to be collected prior to April 1, the RPS said: “These prescriptions should be checked and assessed for clinical appropriateness (considering the length of time that the prescription or owing has been awaiting collection).
“If necessary, the prescriber should be contacted to review the prescription and issue a replacement that meet the requirements.”
The RPS added: “The new legislation will apply from 1 April 2019. Prescriptions will be valid for 28 days after the appropriate date on the prescription.”
The RPS said a supplementary prescriber can issue a prescription for the drugs “subject to clinical competence and inclusion within the patient’s clinical management plan.”
However, when it came to an independent prescriber issuing a prescription, it said that “would depend on the type of independent prescriber issuing the prescription.”