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June 10th 2006

Changes to Prescribing and Dispensing of Controlled Drugs

SAFER MANAGEMENT OF CONTROLLED DRUGS (CDs):
2. PRIVATE CD PRESCRIPTIONS AND OTHER CHANGES TO THE PRESCRIBING AND DISPENSING OF CONTROLLED DRUGS (CDs).
Guidance for Implementation
Department Of Health - Gateway Reference: 6212 - March 2006 (Interim Guidance version 1)

To read the full .pdf file from the DoH click here



Methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Concerta®XL, is a schedule 2 controlled drug as defined by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Following the Shipman Inquiry there have been a number of changes around the use and management of such controlled drugs. These new arrangements came into force on 1st April 2006 and, subject to Parliamentary Approval will be given statutory backing in the Misuse of Drugs Regulations in early summer 2006.

Changes to prescribing and dispensing of controlled drugs

A number of further changes will be introduced, subject to Parliamentary approval where required, in the Summer 2006. In some cases the changes will be affected through professional guidance and in others through further amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations.

The key changes are:

Introduction of special forms for any private prescription of schedule 2 & 3 controlled drugs dispensed by community pharmacists. Records of these prescriptions will be held on a central database so that they can be monitored by local PCTs;

Modified arrangements for the dispensing of NHS prescriptions for schedule 2 & 3 controlled drugs, including a new requirement for patients or other people collecting medicines on their behalf to sign for them;

Duration of any prescription for schedule 2, 3 & 4 controlled drugs to be restricted to 28 days;

Introduction of 28 day maximum quantity on prescriptions for schedule 2, 3 & 4 controlled drugs;

Re-emphasis of professional guidance that doctors should prescribe controlled drugs for themselves or family members only in exceptional circumstances.

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