CD regulations amended for pandemic supply

CD regulations amended for pandemic supply

April 30, 2020

Today (30th April 2020), changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 come into force to provide Ministers with emergency powers for the supply of Controlled Drugs (CDs) in specific circumstances during a pandemic. The regulations are enabling so may be used only if ‘activated’ by Ministers and apply in very limited circumstances.

The purpose of the changes is to ensure community pharmacies can continue to supply patients with essential medicines at critical times during a pandemic, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

There are three changes which are briefly: emergency supply of a CD without a prescription; emergency supply of a CD against a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP); and an emergency change to a CD instalment direction with the agreement of the prescriber – all only apply during a pandemic and are subject to various conditions. PSNC will give more details of the legislative changes and conditions shortly.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is issuing guidance for pharmacists on these changes, and the professional practice considerations, in consultation with the pharmacy sector including PSNC.

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