The Home Office approved new wording in 2015 to allow for flexibility in instalment dispensing of controlled drugs.

The new wording can be ‘mixed and matched to express the prescriber’s intention’.

As usual where the intention is NOT clear it may be necessary to contact the prescriber.

New wording

  1. Dispense instalments due on pharmacy closed days on a prior suitable day.
  2. If an instalment’s collection day has been missed, please still dispense the amount due for any remaining day(s) of that instalment.
  3. Consult the prescriber if three or more consecutive days of a prescription have been missed.
  4. Supervise consumption on collection days.
  5. Dispense daily doses in separate containers.

Change rationale

The previous Home Office approved wording for instalment prescribing assists in determining the precise intentions of a prescriber.

Over the years there have been concerns raised over their lack of flexibility around the holiday season and their length which causes problems due to the limited space on prescription forms.

As a result in 2014, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society put forward proposals to review the approved wording to ensure it continued to assist instalment prescribing but was flexible enough to ensure patient care was not compromised.

These proposals were fully considered by the Home Office, the Department of Health and the Orange Guidelines Group leading to an agreed set of approved wording shorter in length and more flexible than the current wording.

As the Home Office approved wording is used mainly for Schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs prescribed for dispensing on instalments basis, it is expected that the shorter length of the new agreed wording and the flexibility it provides will also make its use in electronic prescriptions easier under the NHS Electronic Prescription Service.

NB: If you decide to supply against a prescription that uses wording not approved by the Home Office, it will not provide the same protection from enforcement when making the supply. In this instance, if practical, you should try to get the prescription amended by the prescriber to include the approved Home Office wording.

For more information refer to:

Circular 027/2015: Approved mandatory requisition form and Home Office approved wording

External Link

Also in the news

Changes to Controlled Drug Regulations November 2015