Resource launched to support with valproate medicines and the pregnancy prevention programme

Resource launched to support with valproate medicines and the pregnancy prevention programme

June 25, 2018

A joint resource has today been published to support community pharmacy teams in helping women and girls who have been prescribed valproate medicines.

Women and girls using valproate medicines must now be protected by a Pregnancy Prevention Programme which brings valproate in line with other medicines which are dangerous during pregnancy, such as isotretinoin and thalidomide.

The resource includes a decision pathway and key points for consideration to prompt conversations between the pharmacy team and their patients.  It has been developed in partnership by the pharmacy organisations represented on the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s Valproate Stakeholder Network, including the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group, Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland, Community Pharmacy Scotland, Community Pharmacy Wales, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Pharmacy Forum of Northern Ireland and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.

The resource builds on the MHRA’s national toolkit for all healthcare professionals and enables pharmacists to understand where they can advise and help patients.  It also aligns closely with a clinical audit on valproate safety that the Company Chemists’ Association launched in June 2018.

Janice Perkins, Chair of the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group and PSNC Committee Member added:

“It’s been great to work collaboratively on this resource for pharmacists and their teams, to help drive consistent understanding of what actions should be taken across the entire network.  Community pharmacy teams are perfectly placed to support women and girls taking valproate, working closely with their local GP surgery teams to raise awareness, reduce potential risks of harm and make a difference.”

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