We have been advised that some GP’s Practices are getting tramadol Rxs sent back where they were printed without the the quantity in words. This is apparently has occurred due to their computer not being updated in time.
We would like to remind Pharmacists that under current CD regulations pharmacists can add the quantity in words if they are missing.
For further clarification on this please see the excerpts from the MEP and the BNF below.
"A pharmacist is not allowed to dispense a Controlled Drug unless all the information required by law is given on the prescription. In the case of a prescription for a Controlled Drug in Schedule 2 or 3, a pharmacist can amend the prescription if it specifies the total quantity only in words or in figures or if it contains minor typographical errors, provided that such amendments are indelible and clearly attributable to the pharmacist. Failure to comply with the regulations concerning the writing of prescriptions will result in inconvenience to patients and delay in supplying the necessary medicine."
MEP - CD Technical errors
Where a prescription for a schedule 2 or 3 controlled drug contains a minor typographical error or spelling mistake, or where either the words or figures (but not both) of the total quantity has been omitted, a pharmacist can amend the prescription indelibly so that it becomes compliant with legislation.
The pharmacist needs to have exercised due diligence, be satisfied that the prescription is genuine and that the supply is in accordance with the intention of the prescriber. The prescription should also be marked to show that the amendments are attributable to the pharmacist (e.g. name, date, signature and GPhC registration number).
Pharmacists cannot correct other amendments or omissions (e.g. missing date, incorrect dose, form or strength). These should be corrected by the original prescriber or, in an emergency, another prescriber authorised to prescribe controlled drugs. Amendments cannot be made by covering letter from the prescriber.