Support Alert

Clarification on validity period of Controlled Drug Prescriptions

We understand there has been some confusion among pharmacists regarding the 28-day validity period for Schedule 2, 3 and 4 Controlled Drug prescriptions. We have sought advice from the Home Office who have clarified that CD prescriptions are valid for 28 days after the appropriate date.

For example, if the appropriate date is 1 November, the 28-day validity period would run until 29 November. Supply on 30 November would not be compliant with the regulations as the 28-day period would have expired.

The appropriate date is either the signature date or any other date indicated on the prescription (by the prescriber) as a date before which the drugs should not be supplied -whichever is later.

In the case of instalment prescriptions, the first instalment must be dispensed no later than 28 days after the appropriate date. The remainder of the instalments should be dispensed in accordance with the instructions (even if this runs beyond 28 days after the appropriate date).

Further information can be found in the MEP45 and our Controlled Drugs Pharmacy Guide.

If you have any questions about Controlled Drug prescriptions contact out Support Team.

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