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

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PART 3PRESCRIBING AND DISPENSING

Prescribing

38.  The contractor is to ensure that any prescription form for drugs, medicines or appliances issued or created by a prescriber complies as appropriate with the requirements in paragraphs 39 to 41.

Prescribing

39.—(1) Subject to paragraphs 40 and 41 a prescriber is to order any drugs, medicines or appliances which are needed for the treatment of any patient who is receiving treatment under the contract by—

(a)issuing to that patient a non-electronic prescription form; or

(b)creating and transmitting an electronic prescription form,

and such a non-electronic prescription form or electronic prescription form must not be used in any other circumstances.

(2) In issuing any non-electronic prescription form, the prescriber must sign the prescription form in ink with the prescriber’s initials, or forenames, and surname in the prescriber’s own handwriting and not by means of a stamp and must so sign only after particulars of the order have been inserted in the prescription form.

(3) A prescription form must not refer to any previous prescription form.

(4) A separate prescription form must be used for each patient.

(5) In a case of urgency a prescriber may request a pharmacist to dispense a drug or medicine before a prescription form is issued or created, only if —

(a)that drug or medicine is not a Scheduled drug;

(b)that drug is not a controlled drug within the meaning of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971(1) other than a drug which is for the time being specified in schedules 4 or 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001(2); and

(c)the prescriber undertakes to furnish the pharmacist, within 72 hours, with a prescription form completed in accordance with sub‑paragraph (2) or with an electronic prescription form.

(6) In a case of urgency a prescriber may request a pharmacist to dispense an appliance before a prescription form is issued or created only if—

(a)that appliance does not contain a Scheduled drug or a controlled drug within the meaning of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, other than a drug which is for the time being specified in schedule 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001;

(b)in the case of a restricted availability appliance, the patient is a person, or it is for a purpose specified in the Drug Tariff; and

(c)the prescriber undertakes to furnish the pharmacist, within 72 hours, with a prescription form completed in accordance with sub‑paragraph (2) or with an electronic prescription form.

(7) A prescriber may only order drugs, medicines or appliances by means of an electronic prescription form if the prescription is not for a controlled drug within the meaning of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, other than a drug which is for the time being specified in schedule 4 or 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

(8) A prescriber who orders drugs, medicines or appliances by means of an electronic prescription form must issue the patient with a written record of the prescription which has been created.

Restrictions on prescribing by medical practitioners

40.—(1) In the course of treating a patient to whom a medical practitioner is providing treatment under the contract, the medical practitioner must not order on a prescription form a drug, medicine or other substance specified in any directions given by the Scottish Ministers under section 17N(6) of the Act (Other mandatory contract terms)(3) as being drugs, medicines or other substances which may not be ordered for patients in the provision of medical services under the contract but may, subject to regulation 28(2)(b), prescribe such a drug or other substance for that patient in the course of that treatment under a private arrangement.

(2) In the course of treating a patient to whom a medical practitioner is providing treatment under the contract, the medical practitioner must not order on a prescription form a drug, medicine or other substance specified in any directions given by the Scottish Ministers under section 17N(6) of the Act as being a drug, medicine or other substance which can only be ordered for specified patients and specified purposes unless—

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

(b)that drug, medicine or other substance is prescribed for that patient only for the specified purpose; and

(c)the practitioner includes on the prescription form the reference “SLS,

but may, subject to regulation 28(2)(b), prescribe such a drug, medicine or other substance for that patient in the course of that treatment under a private arrangement.

(3) In the course of treating a patient to whom a medical practitioner is providing treatment under the contract, the medical practitioner must not order on a prescription form a restricted availability appliance unless—

(a)the patient is a person, or it is for a purpose, specified in the Drug Tariff; and

(b)the practitioner includes on the prescription form the reference “SLS,

but may, subject to regulation 28(2)(b), prescribe such an appliance for that patient in the course of that treatment under a private arrangement.

Restrictions on prescribing by supplementary prescribers

41.—(1) The contractor must have arrangements in place to secure that a supplementary prescriber will—

(a)issue or create a prescription for a prescription only medicine;

(b)administer a prescription only medicine for parenteral administration; or

(c)give directions for the administration of a prescription only medicine for parenteral administration,

as a supplementary prescriber, under the conditions set out in sub‑paragraph (2).

(2) The conditions referred to in sub‑paragraph (1) are that—

(a)the supplementary prescriber satisfies the applicable conditions set out in regulation 215 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (prescribing and administration by supplementary prescribers)(4), unless those conditions do not apply by virtue of any of the exemptions set out in the subsequent provisions of those Regulations;

(b)the drug, medicine or other substance is not specified in any directions given by the Scottish Ministers under section 17N(6) of the Act as being a drug, medicine or other substance which may not be ordered for patients in the provision of medical services under the contract;

(c)the drug, medicine or other substance is not specified in any directions given by the Scottish Ministers under section 17N(6) of the Act as being a drug, medicine or other substance which can only be ordered for specified patients and specified purposes unless—

(i)the patient is a person of the specified description;

(ii)the medicine is prescribed for that patient only for the specified purposes; and

(iii)if the supplementary prescriber is issuing or creating the prescription form, the supplementary prescriber includes on the prescription form the reference SLS”.

(3) Where the functions of a supplementary prescriber include prescribing, the contractor must have arrangements in place to secure that that person will only issue or create a prescription for—

(a)an appliance; or

(b)a medicine which is not a prescription only medicine,

as a supplementary prescriber under the conditions set out in sub‑paragraph (4).

(4) The conditions referred to in sub‑paragraph (3) are that—

(a)the supplementary prescriber acts in accordance with a clinical management plan which is in effect at the time the supplementary prescriber acts and which contains the following particulars—

(i)the name of the patient to whom the plan relates;

(ii)the illness or conditions which may be treated by the supplementary prescriber;

(iii)the date on which the plan is to take effect, and when it is to be reviewed by the medical practitioner or dentist who is a party to the plan;

(iv)reference to the class or description of medicines or types of appliances which may be prescribed or administered under the plan;

(v)any restrictions or limitations as to the strength or dose of any medicine which may be prescribed or administered under the plan, and any period of administration or use of any medicine or appliance which may be prescribed or administered under the plan;

(vi)relevant warnings about known sensitivities of the patient to, or known difficulties of the patient with, particular medicines or appliances;

(vii)the arrangements for notification of—

(aa)suspected or known adverse reactions to any medicine which may be prescribed or administered under the plan, and suspected or known adverse reactions to any other medicine taken at the same time as any medicine prescribed or administered under the plan;

(bb)incidents occurring with the appliance which might lead, might have led or has led to the death or serious deterioration of state of the health of the patient, and

(viii)the circumstances in which the supplementary prescriber should refer to, or seek the advice of, the medical practitioner or dentist who is a party to the plan;

(b)the supplementary prescriber has access to the health records of the patient to whom the plan relates which are used by any medical practitioner or dentist who is a party to the plan;

(c)if it is a prescription for a drug, medicine or other substance, that drug, medicine or other substance is not specified in any directions given by the Scottish Ministers under section 17N(6) of the Act as being a drug, medicine or other substance which may not be ordered for patients in the provision of primary medical services under a general medical services contract;

(d)if it is a prescription for an appliance, the appliance is listed in Parts 2 to 6 or 8 to 10 of the Drug Tariff; and

(e)if it is a prescription for a restricted availability appliance—

(i)the patient is a person of a description mentioned in the entry in Part 3 of the Drug Tariff in respect of that appliance;

(ii)the appliance is prescribed only for the purposes specified in respect of that person in that entry; and

(iii)when issuing or creating the prescription form, the supplementary prescriber includes on the prescription form the reference “SLS”.

(5) In sub‑paragraph (4)(a), “clinical management plan” means a plan (which may be amended from time to time) relating to the treatment of an individual patient agreed by—

(a)the patient to whom the plan relates;

(b)the medical practitioner or dentist who is a party to the plan; and

(c)any supplementary prescriber who is to prescribe, give directions for administration or administer under the plan.

Interpretation of paragraphs 38 to 41

42.  For the purposes of paragraphs 38 to 41, in their application to a contractor whose contract includes the provision of contraceptive services, drugs includes contraceptive substances and appliances includes contraceptive appliances.

Excessive prescribing

43.—(1) The contractor must not prescribe drugs, medicines or appliances whose cost or quantity, in relation to any patient, is, by reason of the character of the drug, medicine or appliance in question in excess of that which was reasonably necessary for the proper treatment of that patient.

(2) In considering whether a contractor has breached its obligations under sub‑paragraph (1), the Health Board must seek the views of the area medical committee for its area.

Provision of dispensing services

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.

Provision of drugs, medicines and appliances for immediate treatment or personal administration

45.—(1) Subject to sub‑paragraph (2), a contractor—

(a)is to provide to a patient any drug, medicine or appliance, not being a Scheduled drug, where such provision is needed for the immediate treatment of that patient before provision can otherwise be obtained; and

(b)may provide to a patient any drug, medicine or appliance, not being a Scheduled drug, which the contractor personally administers or applies to that patient,

but may, in either case, provide a restricted availability appliance only if it is for a person or a purpose specified in the Drug Tariff.

(2) Nothing in sub‑paragraph (1) authorises a person to supply any drug or medicine to a patient otherwise than in accordance with Part 3 of the Medicines Act 1968(5) or any regulations or orders made thereunder.

(1)

1971 c.38. Section 2 was relevantly amended by paragraph 2 of schedule 17 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (c.13).

(2)

S.I. 2001/3998. Schedule 4 was amended by S.I. 2009/3136, S.I. 2013/625, S.I. 2014/3277, S.I. 2015/891 and S.I. 2016/1125. Schedule 5 was amended by S.I. 2005/2864.

(3)

Section 17N was inserted by section 4 of the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 1).

(5)

1968 c.67. Part 3 was amended by S.I. 1984/187, section 1 of the Medical Products: Prescription by Nurses etc. Act 1992 (c.28), S.I. 1993/2538, S.I. 1994/105, S.I. 1994/3142 S.I. 1994/3144, S.I. 1997/322, S.I. 1998/108, section 63 of the Health and Care Social Care Act 2001 (c.5), S.I. 2002/236 S.I. 2002/253, S.I. 2003/1590, S.I. 2004/1771, S.I. 2005/2789, S.I. 2006/1916, S.I. 2006/2407, section 220(c) of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c.7) and S.I. 2012/1916.

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