There are changes that may affect you. These changes follow a government consultation because of concerns around possible misuse and mean that these medicines become Controlled Drugs (CDs). The medicines themselves will not change, but there will be more rules on how they are prescribed and dispensed.
What does this mean for me?
Currently Gabapentin and Pregabalin prescriptions cannot be sent to your pharmacy using the electronic prescription service (EPS). If you usually have your prescriptions sent to the pharmacy in this way you may need to collect a prescription from your surgery, or ask your pharmacy to do this.
If you use the repeat dispensing “batch” service (RD) this will no longer be available for these medication and your pharmacy will not be able to dispense any outstanding batches.
Controlled Drug prescriptions must be dispensed by your pharmacist within 28days of the date on the prescription (Most prescriptions can be dispensed up to 6 months after this date)
If you are owed any medication by the pharmacy this also needs to be collected within 28 days of the date of the prescription.
The quantity on your prescription may also be reduced. It is recommended that a maximum of 30 days of CDs should be prescribed, to ensure safety. The prescribing of controlled drugs is closely monitored. This may also mean that you are called in for more regular reviews to make sure that your medication is still working.
Please make sure that you order your prescription a few days before you run out as Pharmacists are not allowed to provide emergency supplies or loans for controlled drugs without a prescription.
You (or your representative) collecting the prescription may be asked for proof of identity and will be asked to sign that you have received these.
Do I need to do anything?
If you currently get your prescriptions through the Electronic Prescriptions Service (EPS) or RD (batch prescriptions) then speak to your pharmacist or staff at the practice.
If you have a green ‘paper’ prescription for Gabapentin or Pregabalin please make sure that you get this dispensed before 1st April 2019.
If you are ‘owed’ any Gabapentin or Pregabalin from your pharmacy please make sure you collect this before 1st April 2019.
When you next request a prescription, please be aware that these changes will be inforce. This is a nationwide change to the regulations and your GP and Pharmacist are legally required to change practice.