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Revised dispensing regulations for OPD scheduled to begin this autumn

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The regulatory amendments proposed will enable pharmacists to dispense medicines in their original packaging for private prescriptions starting this Autumn, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

In the recently published draft OPD regulations, the DHSC has indicated that the alterations, permitting pharmacists to vary the dispensed quantity by up to 10 per cent to avoid splitting medicine packs, will be implemented for private prescriptions ‘immediately upon the enforcement of the Human Medicines Amendment Regulations in the autumn,’ as highlighted in a briefing by Community Pharmacy England.

CPE stated that the regulations related to NHS prescriptions will come into effect when the pharmaceutical terms of service regulations expressly apply the OPD amendments.

Moreover, new directive mandating the dispensing of sodium valproate products solely in their original packaging (except when an assessment of risk necessitates an alternative approach) will align with the rollout of the private prescription regulations during the autumn.

CPE further noted that these regulations are currently in draft, indicating that they are not currently in effect and may undergo revisions prior to their implementation.

Meanwhile, CPE is aiming to collaborate with DHSC and NHSE to align on expanded services and an updated payment structure in the pharmacy sector. They actively participate in working groups for service expansion, such as Hypertension Case-Finding and the Pharmacy Contraception Scheme, while also being involved in payment model negotiations. These discussions center on balancing core capacity funding, activity payments, funding stream distribution, and measuring CPE’s delivery and impact.

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