Locally the practice pharmacists within GP practices will be instrumental in ensuring that prescriptions are legal in time for the change.
The lead pharmacist (Gary) has asked us to send you the following information to help you understand the process and help you with the transition.
You will be aware gabapentin and pregabalin are being re-classified as schedule 3 controlled drugs from the 1st April 2019. With this change of classification GP practices are going to need to ensure all doses and quantities are legal in time for April. The practice pharmacists will be reviewing these patients and making the necessary changes. The numbers of patients potentially affected are high so to make sure that this is completed in time work will be starting on this very soon. The practice pharmacy team will be adding a pharmacy message to each prescription changed. If you receive a prescription with a message, please can you ensure the changes and the reasons are highlighted to the patients.
In addition to this, EMIS which is used in the majority of GP practices has already started making changes to the system and in some practices EMIS is highlighting gabapentin and pregabalin as a controlled drug. This is outside of the control of the practices and has needed to be started early to ensure that all GP systems are compliant before the 1st April legislation change. This may mean that practices will be unable to issue pregabalin and gabapentin via EPS. Due to the way that EMIS roll out their new software it is not possible to anticipate when each practice will be updated. Please bear this in mind as you may need to collect a paper prescription from the practice.
If you have any queries regarding this, please contact the practice pharmacist.
Deputy Lead Pharmacist