National Pharmacy Association (NPA) - News updates

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Instalment CD prescriptions (UK)

Over the Easter 2019 bank holiday, many community pharmacies will be closed for a few days. Pharmacists should check all Controlled Drug (CD) instalment prescriptions allow a legally valid supply on receipt, in preparation for days when the pharmacy may be closed, so that any errors can be resolved during the working week. In addition, pharmacists should ensure they have sufficient stock to cover all their prescriptions for this period. Prescription requirements When a Schedule 2 or 3 CD is prescribed by instalment, the prescription must legally state the following: Name and address of the patient Signature, signature date and address of the prescriber Dose to be taken, form and, where appropriate, the strength of the product prescribed Total quantity in words and figures ‒ this must be expressed in terms of dosage units, for example, methadone oral solution should be expressed as ‘ml’ and not ‘mg’ Instalment amount and the instalment intervals between supplies The first instalment must be supplied within 28 days of the appropriate date on the prescription; the appropriate date being the later of the dates on which the prescription was signed or the date indicated on the prescription as to when it should be dispensed, as stated in The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (Part 12 Chapter 2 Regulation 217).…

How are you dealing with requests for alternatives when there are medicines shortages?

Dear Superintendent,   In recent weeks, the NPA’s Pharmacy Services team has received a large number of queries from pharmacists about how to deal with requests from prescribers to suggest alternative medicines when the patient’s medicine is out of stock. These requests are often made without the clinically relevant information about the patient’s health or the condition being treated being available.   Dealing with ongoing medicine shortages on a daily basis puts additional pressure on pharmacy teams at a time when the pharmacy workload is already very significant.  However, patients value the contribution that community pharmacy teams make in helping them manage their medication, and many pharmacists often go to great lengths to help overcome supply problems.   The NPA’s Brexit webpage contains country-specific information on Brexit and medicines supplies from all UK countries and can be accessed here.   In this update, I would like to offer some guidance on how pharmacists could approach discussions with prescribers in the form of a suggested process that you may choose to use when dealing with issues related to medicine shortages, and to aid discussions with prescribers related to suggesting alternative treatment options.…

Dealing with medicines shortages and requests for alternatives (NI)

Dear Superintendent,   In recent weeks, the NPA’s Pharmacy Services team has received a large number of queries from pharmacists about how to deal with requests from prescribers to suggest alternative medicines when the patient’s medicine is out of stock. These requests are often made without the clinically relevant information about the patient’s health or the condition being treated being available. Dealing with ongoing medicine shortages on a daily basis puts additional pressure on pharmacy teams at a time when the pharmacy workload is already very significant.  However, patients value the contribution that community pharmacy teams make in helping them manage their medication, and many pharmacists often go to great lengths to help overcome supply problems. The NPA’s Brexit webpage contains country-specific information on Brexit and medicines supplies from all UK countries and can be accessed here. In this update, I would like to offer some guidance on how pharmacists could approach discussions with prescribers in the form of a suggested process that you may choose to use when dealing with issues related to medicine shortages, and to aid discussions with prescribers related to suggesting alternative treatment options.…

Scotland update – Dealing with medicines shortages and requests for alternatives

National Pharmacy Association welcomes start of contract negotiations in England

According to a statement by PSNC today, the Department of Health and Social Care has initiated the negotiation process with a set of proposals which have been agreed with NHS England and shared with PSNC. Negotiations between the three organisations will be confidential, but PSNC says it expects talks will cover urgent care, prevention and medicines safety. In the statement, PSNC predicts challenging discussions on funding and reimbursement. Commenting today, NPA Chief Executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “We are very pleased that negotiations are finally underway. “The NPA, PSNC and indeed all the national pharmacy bodies have been working hard to build trust with officials and elected politicians, providing a solid platform for the negotiations. “This is a significant moment in the long history of community pharmacy and we hope all parties to the negotiation will be ambitious about the future. “Community pharmacies need to be recognised as the front door to health – an indispensable component of the urgent care pathway, vibrant health & wellbeing hubs and a mainstay of support for people with long term medical conditions.…

Class 4 drug alert – Caution in Use – Chloramphenicol Antibiotic Eye Drops 0.5% w/v

DRUG ALERT   Class 4 drug alert – Caution in Use   Ref: EL (19)A/09 09 April 2019  Chloramphenicol Antibiotic Eye Drops 0.5% w/v (Manufactured by Martindale Pharmaceuticals Limited) PL 00156/0109 – legal status P A Class 4 drug alert has been issued by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for all unexpired batches of Chloramphenicol Antibiotic Eye Drops 0.5% w/v as listed below. Batch numbers 1810248 1901208 1811060 1901756 1811129 1901757 1811249 1901759 1812309 1901854 1812310 1902375 1812583 1902389 1901163 1902418 1901164 1902601 The affected batches contain a patient information leaflet for the prescription only medicine (POM) product and the information in braille is missing from the carton. The affected batches are not being recalled. The correct PIL can be downloaded via the link ‘here’. Further information can be found on the MHRA section on the GOV.UK website. Produced by the NPA Pharmacy Services team April 2019.    …

COMPANY-LED DRUG RECALL – Nutriflex Omega Special 2500ml

COMPANY-LED DRUG RECALL – Nutriflex Omega Special 2500ml CLDA number CLDA (19)A02 Date 8 April 2019 Nutriflex Omega Special 2500ml PL 03551/0118 (Manufactured by B. Braun Medical Ltd) A company-led recall has been issued by B. Braun Medical Ltd for specific batches of Nutriflex Omega Special 2500ml PL 03551/0118 as shown in the table below. Batch number                    Expiry date 173848052 31/08/19 180858051 31/01/20 182448051 31/05/20  The recall has been issued for these batches because continuing stability studies have shown a potential out of specification result in the glucose chamber at the end of the product’s shelf life. Further information can be found on the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency section on the GOV.UK website. Produced by NPA Pharmacy Services team April 2019  …

FP34 Schedule of Payments – minor changes to codes

NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) and NHS England will be making some minor changes to the way payment descriptions for Enhanced Services are listed on the FP34 Schedule of Payments. The change in coding will be applied for Enhanced Services claim submissions for April 2019 Enhanced Services; services completed in March 2019 will appear on the FP34 “Dispensing month: Feb 2019”. The change will not affect the way pharmacy contractors claim for payment. The national menu of codes for Enhanced Services has been developed to ease data collection and reconciliation of payments. It will be easier for pharmacy contractors to identify the services they are being paid for and for NHS England to calculate total expenditure for individual locally commissioned services. This is because the codes on the FP34 schedule of payments will be consistent across England; for example locally commissioned screening services will always be coded as Local Scheme 4.…

New Pharmacy Minister appointed

As Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, she will lead on primary care, prevention and early intervention, health improvement, sexual health, the public health system and NHS litigation. The NPA developed a positive relationship with former Pharmacy Minister, Steve Brine, who resigned last month.  In the same vein, we want to work in partnership with his successor, to make things better for pharmacists, patients and the NHS. Seema Kennedy’s portfolio covers primary care and public health, and we aim to help her understand community pharmacy’s significance across this wide agenda. Meanwhile, we continue to discuss pharmacy strategy with senior officials and with the Health Secretary who has agreed to attend the NPA conference in June. At the same time, our work to help independent pharmacies engage with the NHS at local level will intensify, as we recognise the growing importance of Primary Care Networks in England’s healthcare commissioning infrastructure. Find out more about the Ministerial role here.…

Class 4 drug alert – Caution in use – Packs containing incorrect PIL

DRUG ALERT   Class 4 drug alert – Caution in use – Packs containing incorrect patient information leaflet Ref:  EL (19)A/08 Date: 04 April 2019  Zoledronic acid solution for infusion 5mg (Manufactured by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Europe BV) PL 31750/0054 A Class 4 drug alert has been issued by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for Zoledronic acid solution for infusion 5mg. Zoledronic acid solution for infusion 5mg PL 31750/0054   Batch number Expiry date Pack size First distributed JKT1576A 30/04/2020 1 x 100ml 12 Oct 2018 Description of alert: Ranbaxy UK Ltd (a Sun Pharmaceutical Company) has informed the MHRA that certain packs from the batch above mistakenly contain the wrong patient information leaflet (PIL). Advice to healthcare professionals: Pharmacy teams should check the PIL inside packs of the affected batch before dispensing. If the pack contains the wrong leaflet, this should be removed and a copy of the correct PIL should be provided.…