23.3.20 Community Pharmacy and Medications
There have been reports of significant increase in demand for prescription medicines in community pharmacies across the CCG footprints, to the point that pharmacy staff are staying after closure to keep up with that demand.
Please can we appeal to you as prescribers not increase the quantities of or the frequency of repeat prescriptions? Increased demand on the system for medication will lead to supply issues in the system. If patients have been having their medication on regular basis, there should be no need for an increase in supply.
There was a strong message from Nikki Kanani, NHSE Primary Care Medical Director, regarding the supply of medications to patients to ensure stability of the supply chain and reduce the potential for stockpiling. The recommendation is to utilise repeat dispensing wherever possible issuing 28 days supply. This enables general practice and community pharmacy to manage workload better. The guidance around supply of OTC medicines has not changed and prescriptions for items such as paracetamol should not be issued. Community pharmacy will be experiencing the same business continuity challenges and there may be times in the future when some have to close or restrict their hours. Wherever possible we will let you know but if there any local issues please feedback via your local teams.