Regulatory changes include provision for Serious Shortage Protocols

Regulatory changes include provision for Serious Shortage Protocols

June 7, 2019

Amendments to the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 have today (7th June 2019) been laid before Parliament.

Due to come into force from Monday 1st July 2019, these amendments will introduce the Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) into the terms of service for NHS community pharmacies. This means that, where an SSP is in place for a particular product, a retail pharmacy business or a dispensing appliance contractor must consider supplying in accordance with the SSP rather than fulfilling an NHS prescription for that product. It may, instead of fulfilling the NHS prescription, supply a different product, or a different quantity of the ordered product, in the circumstances and subject to the conditions set out in the SSP.

SSP legislation was first introduced in February 2019, as part of (but is not dependent on) no-deal Brexit planning, to enable the Health and Social Care Secretary to put in place alternative arrangements for supply where a drug or appliance is ordered on prescription but there is, or may in the future be, a serious shortage of that drug or appliance.

PSNC has been working with DHSC and with PMR system suppliers to agree the endorsements, fees and paperwork that will be associated with SSPs.

PSNC will provide a briefing soon and further guidance to explain what this will mean for community pharmacy teams in due course.

Further information on SSPs can be found on our webpage.

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