The Department of Health (DH) has published a letter advising that due to increasing flu levels in the community, GPs and other prescribers in primary care in England may now prescribe on the NHS antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of flu.
Prescribers may prescribe for patients in ‘clinical at-risk’ groups as well as those who are at risk of severe illness and/or compilations from flu if not treated, in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance and the Selected List Scheme (SLS) in Part XVIIIB of the England and Wales Drug Tariff.
NHS prescriptions – written generically or by brand – for oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza), are included in the SLS list; therefore 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.
Dispensers are advised to order stock only as needed. and PSNC would urge contractors not to over order stocks of antiviral medicines, as over ordering could result in shortages in the supply chain.
Weekly national flu reports are available online.