Shortage Notice: Cloral betaine 707mg tablets

Shortage Notice: Cloral betaine 707mg tablets

September 23, 2020

Update (23/09/2020) resupply date now Q1 2021


The manufacturer Marlborough Pharmaceuticals has advised that Cloral betaine 707mg tablets are out of stock with resupply expected November 2020. In the interim, supply of an alternative imported unlicensed medicinal product (specials) is available through Alliance Healthcare Specials using PIP code: 802-0745.

A prescription for a pack of 30 x Cloral betaine 707mg tablets submitted for payment in the dispensing month of September would be reimbursed at the Drug Tariff (September 2020) list price of £138.59. The unlicensed alternative available via Alliance Healthcare Specials is currently available to purchase at a higher price than the equivalent licensed product.

Where the prescribing of a special is considered appropriate by the prescriber, a prescription must be issued with the wording ‘(Special Order)’ or ‘(Imported (Country))’ next to the prescribed product to ensure that a pharmacy can dispense and be correctly reimbursed for a non-Part VIIIB special. There is currently no NHS Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (dm+d) Actual Medicinal Product (AMP) listing for the specials product for prescribers to select using their prescribing systems so a prescription for unlicensed Cloral betaine 707mg tablets cannot be issued using EPS. PSNC has submitted a request to Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) seeking the addition of the unlicensed ‘(Special Order) or ‘(Imported (Country))‘ listing of Cloral betaine 707mg tablets to dm+d.

Until the listing has been added to dm+d, where a prescriber wishes to prescribe the special, a paper FP10 prescription should be issued as ‘Cloral betaine 707mg tablets (Special Order)’ and endorsed by the pharmacy as a non-Part VIIIB special with the following information:

  • Amount dispensed over pack size used;
  • Invoice price per pack size from which the order was supplied less any discount or rebate;
  • Initials ‘SP’ (which attracts a fixed fee of £20)
  • Manufacturers’/importers’ MHRA licence number;
  • Batch number of the product supplied;

All paper FP10 prescriptions for unlicensed medicines should be placed in the red separators for the end of month submission.

All unlicensed medicinal products (specials) automatically qualify for Group Item Discount Not Deducted (DND) status meaning that no discount deduction will be applied to their reimbursement prices.

Click here for further information on dispensing incorrectly written prescriptions for specials.

Further resources

Dispensing unlicensed medicines factsheet

NHSBSA dm+d viewer

Endorsing non-Part VIII EPS items



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