SSP issued for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules: Urgent actions required by pharmacy teams

SSP issued for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules: Urgent actions required by pharmacy teams

May 20, 2020

In response to significant ongoing disruption to the supply of Fluoxetine 40mg capsules, a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) has been issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Introduced with immediate effect today, Wednesday 20th May 2020, SSP06 has been developed by clinicians and provides pharmacists with procedures to follow in providing a suitable alternative product, two Fluoxetine 20mg capsules in response to the serious shortage affecting the 40 mg capsules. It has been authorised by the Secretary of State to help manage the supply of this product and to try to ensure that fewer patients have to return to their prescriber.

All community pharmacy teams will receive an email to their shared NHSmail account informing them of this SSP. Community pharmacy contractors and their teams are asked to read the document below in full and to implement the protocol with immediate effect on Wednesday 20th May 2020.

SSP06: Fluoxetine 40mg capsules

The SSP may be amended or revoked at any time but currently expires on Monday 20th July 2020 – PSNC will update contractors on any changes.

The SSP recommendations

The SSP provides that two Fluoxetine 20mg capsules may be supplied against prescriptions for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules as follows:

For prescriptions (NHS or private) requesting: Supply permitted under SSP06:
Fluoxetine 40mg capsules 2 x Fluoxetine 20mg capsules

The pharmacist must exercise their professional judgement to ensure the alternative product is suitable for the patient.


Reimbursement is for the medicine supplied in accordance with the SSP and not the originally prescribed medicine i.e. in this instance contractors will be reimbursed the Drug Tariff Part VIIIA reimbursement price for the Fluoxetine 20mg capsules (or any concessionary price granted, where applicable). The reimbursement price will account for VAT payment. Supply in accordance with the SSP will result in the following fees being paid to the contractor:

  • One Single Activity fee (currently £1.27)
  • One SSP fee (£5.35)

Support in implementing the SSPs

The following resources have been developed to support pharmacy teams in using these protocols.

PSNC Briefing 017/20: Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs): SSP06 – Fluoxetine 40mg capsules

Current versions of SSPs

Serious Shortage Protocols Operational Guidance

Serious Shortage Protocols Questions & Answers

PSNC’s Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) Endorsing Factsheet

PSNC Briefing 023/19: Serious Shortage Protocols – A guide for community pharmacy teams

Background information on SSPs

Further information on what SSPs are and when they may be used is available via the links below.

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) on-demand webinar

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) webpage


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