Instalment due on the bank holiday

The usual guidance provided by the Numark Information team (below) still applies for prescriptions with the Home Office wording included:


Q. A methadone patient has an instalment due on the bank holiday when the pharmacy is closed; can I supply it in advance?

A: Yes you can provided the prescriber has included specific wording on the prescription that authorises a supply when the pharmacy is closed.

In this situation the recognised Home Office wording is:

“Dispense instalments due on pharmacy closed days on a prior suitable day.”

(New wording as of November 2015)

If the relevant approved wording is used, a pharmacist can supply treatment prior to the start date on the prescription, if this is on a day the pharmacy is closed for example during bank holiday periods (e.g. if the start date is a bank holiday Monday and the pharmacy is closed, a supply can be made if the signature date is before the start date).

If the prescriber uses their own variation on this wording it will not provide you with the same protection from enforcement when making a supply, and if practical the prescription should be amended by the prescriber to the Home Office wording.

The instalment direction on a prescription is legally binding and must be complied with. If the prescriber has not included any wording to authorise a supply when the pharmacy is closed then no supply can be made in advance of closure.

The original prescription must be amended or an alternative prescription obtained for the bank holiday supply