Whilst we understand the financial pressure that CCGs are under, we have consistently argued against this practice as it undermines general prescribing guidance and removes profit from local pharmacies by interfering with the national community pharmacy contract. Community pharmacies are already struggling following the imposition of the DOH cuts, and this is certainly going to make local pharmacies less viable and will lead to reductions in local services offered by community pharmacy and hence have an impact on the public. The perceived savings made by the CCG are not true savings but ultimately end up back into the global sum which is re-distributed nationally.
Gateshead CCG have decided that pregabalin should be prescribed as Alzain brand and South Tyneside CCG are moving forward with branded prescribing for buprenorphine patches (reletrans) , Fentanyl patches (Mezolar) and Quetiapine XL (sondate XL). Pharmacists are encouraged to adjust stock accordingly.
Communication with local community pharmacy will be carried out by practice pharmacist where appropriate.
The LPC would encourage pharmacists to make use of intervention MURs as a tool to help explain these changes to patients.
Where EPS is in place messages may be added to the patient's prescription requesting the pharmacist informs the patient of any changes.