Have Your Say: DHSC Consultation on Original Pack Dispensing (OPD) and on Sodium Valproate Dispensing

Consultation closes on 13th December

There are two parts to the consultation that proposes changes to the Human Medicines Regulations (HMRs):

  • Pharmacists would have flexibility to dispense (up to 10%) more or less than the prescribed quantity if that means they can dispense in the manufacturer’s original packs, except where this would negatively affect the patient’s clinical treatment regimen – so the pharmacist will have to make a judgement whether this is appropriate or not. This will not apply to controlled drugs. And
  • Sodium valproate must always be supplied in original packaging regardless of the conditions set around Original Pack Dispensing (OPD) (to ensure a patient information leaflet is provided with every supply).

Currently, contractors must supply the exact quantity prescribed, unless certain exceptions apply. This means that in many cases pharmacy staff need to split a manufacturer’s original pack in order to dispense the prescribed quantity.

In the consultation, DHSC has outlined some of the benefits of OPD for patients and contractors, subject to the professional judgement of the responsible pharmacist; as well as issues for GPs and manufacturers. DHSC state that by allowing community pharmacies to dispense medicines in their original packs, we believe OPD will help them to become more efficient and to free up their time for other tasks such as providing clinical services to patients.

To respond to the consultation visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/original-pack-dispensing-and-supply-of-medicines-containing-sodium-valproate