Prescribers can now supply antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza at NHS expense

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) today issued an alert permitting the use of antiviral medicines against influenza.

Pharmacists may now supply antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza at NHS expense during the 2019-20 season.

The Central Medical Officer (CMO) alert has made in response to surveillance data showing an increase in influenza cases and is in-line with a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance.

Information on ‘clinical at-risk groups’ and patients eligible for treatment in primary care at NHS expense with either oseltamivir or zanamivir is available online.

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) suggested pharmacists to ensure antiviral prescriptions are dispensed promptly to avoid treatment delay and ensure FP10 prescriptions are endorsed with ‘SLS’ from the prescriber for it to be passed for payment.

Pharmacists are also asked not to over order antiviral medicines.

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