A letter has been sent from the UK Home Secretary to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to advise on COVID-19 emergency measures to enable the supply of controlled drugs.
The letter from the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, asks the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to advise on three potential measures that would enable the supply of medicines containing controlled substances in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Commenting on the proposal, RPS President Sandra Gidley said:
“Pharmacists have been working very effectively to ensure the safe and effective supply of controlled drugs to the public for many years now.
“During these challenging times, individuals may find it more difficult to access their repeat prescriptions from prescribing teams because of staff shortages from illness or self-isolation, so this seems to be a sensible and pragmatic move.
“The proposals that have been put forward are for the supply of controlled drugs in exceptional circumstances. They are likely to be used on occasion to make supplies to patients who have been receiving certain controlled drugs as part of on-going treatment. Pharmacists would use their professional judgement in line with safeguarding rules before making any supply, as well as working with other healthcare professionals involved in the care of the patient.
“We support this move and will provide guidance to the profession to provide clarity and maintain high standards of supply, once the necessary legislation is passed.