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The National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Scotland) Regulations 2018

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Provision of dispensing services

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44.—(1) A contractor may secure the provision of dispensing services to its registered patients only if it is authorised or required to do so by the Health Board in accordance with this paragraph.

(2) Where the Health Board, is satisfied, after consultation with the area pharmaceutical committee, that a person, by reason of—

(a)distance;

(b)inadequacy of means of communication; or

(c)other exceptional circumstances,

will have serious difficulty in obtaining from a pharmacist any drugs, medicines or appliances, other than Scheduled drugs, required for that person’s treatment, the Health Board may require or authorise the contractor with whom the person is a registered patient to supply such drugs, medicines and appliances to that person until further notice.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-paragraph (2)—

(a)a contractor will not be required to undertake the supply of drugs, medicines, and appliances under sub‑paragraph (2) if the contractor satisfies the Health Board that the contractor is not in the habit of dispensing drugs, medicines, and appliances for the contractor’s patients;

(b)a contractor must receive reasonable notice from the Health Board that the contractor is required to undertake the supply of drugs, medicines and appliances under sub‑paragraph (2) or that such supply is to be discontinued.

(4) A contractor must receive the support of an appropriately qualified pharmacist independent prescriber provided by the Health Board, where the Health Board considers that the health outcomes of patients are likely to be improved by the contractor and pharmacist independent prescriber working together with the aim of ensuring that the patient gets the best clinical benefit from their prescribed medicines.

(5) Subject to sub‑paragraph (7), a contractor, who is required by the Health Board to supply drugs, medicines and appliances under sub-paragraph (2) to a patient, in the course of treating that patient under these Regulations—

(a)must, subject to sub-paragraph (7), record on a prescription form completed in accordance with paragraph 39, an order for supply of any drugs, medicines or appliances which are needed for the treatment of that patient, but is not required to issue that form to that patient;

(b)is to supply those drugs, medicines or appliances for that patient under sub‑paragraph (2) but—

(i)must not supply under sub‑paragraph (2) for that patient any Scheduled drug specified as being a drug, medicine or other substance which may not be ordered for patients in the provision of medical services under the contract, except that, where the contractor has ordered a drug which has an appropriate non‑proprietary name either by that name or by its formula, the contractor may supply a drug which has the same specification notwithstanding that it is such a Scheduled drug (but, in the case of a drug which combines more than one drug, only if the combination has an appropriate non‑proprietary name);

(ii)will supply under sub‑paragraph (2) for that patient any Scheduled drug specified as being a drug, medicine or other substance which may only be ordered for specific patients and purposes only where—

(aa)that patient is a person of the specified description; and

(bb)that drug, medicine or other substance is supplied to that patient only for the specified purpose;

(iii)will supply under sub‑paragraph (2) for that patient a restricted availability appliance only if it is for a patient in a category of person or a purpose specified in the Drug Tariff;

(c)may supply for that patient with the contractor’s consent, in respect of that treatment but otherwise than under sub‑paragraph (2), any Scheduled drug.

(6) A contractor must comply with any arrangements made by the Scottish Ministers, or made by the Health Board after consultation with the area medical committee (if any) and the area pharmaceutical committee and approved by the Scottish Ministers, under which the contractor may obtain and have available any drugs, medicines or appliances which the contractor is required or entitled to supply in terms of this paragraph.

(7) Sub‑paragraph (5) does not apply to drugs, medicines or appliances ordered on a prescription form by a supplementary prescriber, or an independent prescriber.

(8) Where a patient presents an order on a non-electronic prescription form for listed drugs or medicines, or appliances, signed by a supplementary prescriber, or an independent prescriber, to a contractor who is required under sub‑paragraph (2) to provide drugs or appliances to that patient or a contractor who is required under sub-paragraph (2) to provide drugs or appliances to a patient receives from the ePharmacy service an electronic prescription form which contains an order for listed drugs or medicines, or appliances in respect of that patient, signed by a supplementary prescriber, or an independent prescriber, the contractor may provide to the patient such drugs, medicines or appliances so ordered as the contractor supplies in the normal course of the contractor’s practice.

(9) A drug supplied by a contractor unless administered in person must be supplied in a suitable container.

(10) Nothing in this paragraph prevents a contractor providing a Scheduled drug or a restricted availability appliance in the course of treating a patient under a private arrangement.

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