Legislation comes into effect on Saturday 9 February to enable UK community pharmacies to dispense against a serious shortage protocol (SSP) instead of a prescription and without going back to the prescriber first.
In a letter to healthcare professionals, chief pharmaceutical officer Professor Keith Ridge says the protocol could cover dispensing a different quantity, pharmaceutical form, strength or a generic or therapeutic equivalent.
PSNC has said that to support the protocol consideration should be given to the current Drug Tariff concession pricing system, in particular that there is equitable reimbursement where the concession price imposed by DHSC is significantly lower than the market price of the medicine. It also warns that the use of non-originator branded medicines (branded generics) produces inequitable variations in the distribution of margin, adversely affecting the supply of medicines.
Informing the legislation, the English pharmacy contract negotiator also notes that local liaison between GP surgeries and community pharmacies is likely to be necessary to ensure that GP surgeries are informed of any supplies in accordance with an SSP, as well as raising professional liability concerns.