DHSC permits use of antiviral medicines against influenza

DHSC permits use of antiviral medicines against influenza

December 3, 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has via its Central Alerting System (CAS) published a letter advising that due to increasing flu levels in the community, GPs and other prescribers working in primary care in England may now prescribe antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of flu at NHS expense.

Prescribers may prescribe for patients in clinical at-risk groups as well as those who are at risk of severe illness and/or complications from flu if not treated, in accordance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance and the Selected List Scheme (SLS) in Part XVIIIB of the England and Wales Drug Tariff.

Community pharmacy contractors who receive FP10 NHS prescriptions, written generically or by brand, for oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza), the antivirals included in the SLS list, are therefore reminded that 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. Pharmacy staff cannot make the SLS endorsement themselves.

See the CAS alert for further information.

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