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Ensuring RPS compliance in unlicensed medication supply

01.11.2016

Ensuring RPS compliance in unlicensed medication supply

When it comes to ordering unlicensed medication, it‘s critical to the patient that the medication supplied meets their specific needs. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) updated its guidance earlier this year to outline the principles that pharmacists and their teams should follow including where responsibilities lie when ordering a special to ensure the right medication for the patient.

What did it say?

In the "Professional Guidance for the Procurement and Supply of Specials" created by RPS, it details that "when procuring a Special, pharmacists [need to] ensure that patients receive medicine that is of appropriate quality, is appropriate for the patient‘s condition and personal circumstances."

It continues to say that "the responsibility for agreeing a product specification which meets a patient‘s special clinical need and the requirements of the prescription rests with the pharmacist. The responsibility for providing medicines that comply with the product specification rests with the manufacturer."

What does this mean for me?

With our continued efforts to ensure that we help our customers in the ever demanding healthcare sector, we put the RPS‘s guidelines at the forefront of our processes. To ensure we and our customers adhere to the guidelines, when ordering an unlicensed product, our Customer Service team will always confirm the order taken by repeating the products back to minimise the risk of errors, but also give our customers peace of mind. In addition to this verbal clarification, a written confirmation by fax or email is also provided to ensure the correct item is being ordered.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The RPS states that "specials are only supplied when the patient has a special clinical need that cannot be met by an available licensed medicine." It‘s common, in the changing healthcare landscape, that an unlicensed medication can later be replaced by an alternative licensed version. Where this is the case, our expert Customer Service team will receive prompts at the point of order, clarify the patient‘s specific clinical needs and discuss whether a switch should be made to the licensed product to ensure full compliance with RPS guidance.

Find out more

For more information about RPS guidance, click here. Alternatively, if you have a question about an unlicensed medicine, we‘re on hand to help. Simply call 0800 043 9372 from 8am to 10pm, Mondays to Thursdays or 8am until 6pm on Fridays.*

*Times may vary during Bank Holidays.