Update on restriction of gluten-free prescribing

Update on restriction of gluten-free prescribing

September 6, 2018

Community pharmacy contractors are advised that from December 2018 it is expected that the only Gluten Free (GF) products allowed on prescription in primary care will be for GF bread and mixes. This will have implications for stock-holding, and contractors will want to consider this in their ordering processes between now and then.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has previously announced a decision to restrict GF prescribing to bread and mixes only. This means that GF foods from the following categories will no longer be available for prescribing in primary care; biscuits, cakes, cereals, cooking aids, grains/flours and pasta. Read here for PSNCs response to the original consultation.

On 21st August 2018, the DHSC launched a further consultation that provides the draft regulations that will allow this change and describes what will be done to apply the changes. The first change proposed will be to amend Part XV (‘ACBS list’) of the Drug Tariff to remove the products which are discontinued or withdrawn by suppliers/manufacturers*. The list will reflect a range of GF bread and GF mixes. The NHS (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc.) Regulations 2004 will also be amended to prevent prescribers from ordering GF products (except for breads and mixes) on prescription.

Before all GF products (except for bread and mixes) are disallowed on the NHS in England, PSNC recommends that any outstanding prescriptions (including owings) for these GF foods are dispensed and submitted for payment before December 2018.

*The proposed changes to Part XV (‘ACBS list’) by GF food category is summarised the table below. PSNC will notify contractors when these changes are due to implemented and will publish further updates as more information becomes available.

Food Type/Category   Drug Tariff – Number of Item Types   Implementation  
GF, GF & Wheat Free (WF) Biscuits (includes crispbreads and crackers)   25 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).  
GF, GF&WF Bread (includes rolls, part baked bread, and pizza bases)   95 products   To retain provision; ACBS review of GF bread against agreed definition.  
GF, GF&WF Cakes/Pastries   No ACBS approved products   Will no longer be available.  
GF WF Cereals   9 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).  
GF WF Cooking Aids   2 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).  
GF, GF&WF Grains/Flours   12 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).  
GF, GF&WF Mixes   29 products   To retain provision; ACBS review of GF mixes against agreed definition.  
GF, GF&WF Pasta (includes fusilli, lasagne, macaroni and spaghetti)   23 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).  
GF, GF&WF Ready meals   No ACBS approved products   Will no longer be available.  



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