How to: Process unlicensed and imported medicines

Michael Oswald, Head of Pharmacy Services

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

At the end of August 2015, PCA(P)(2015)17 detailed changes to the processing of unlicensed and imported medicines.  Recently I’ve noticed the team dealing with an increasing number of queries on this so I thought it would be a good idea to recap the process.

The generic framework for authorisation explains the circumstances where Health Board authorisation is and where it’s not.  

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In other instances, Health Board authorisation for unlicensed or imported medicines is required.  Contractors should follow the local process including providing a quote to the Board including postage and packing and any other associated costs.

Where unlicensed or imported medicines which are not in Part 7S of the drug tariff are being dispensed, contractors are entitled to claim a fixed £30 handling charge which should be endorsed on paper and electronically using the HC endorsement (or using the appropriate function on your PMR).  If there are any other charges for postage and packing or handling, these should be endorsed on paper and electronically using the XP endorsement.  The £30 fee is not automatically paid by Practitioner Services, it must be claimed.

We are seeing an increasing number of instances where the HC and special price endorsements are being applied to the paper but not electronically.  Where these prescriptions are processed electronically Practitioner Services will not process adjustments for contractors.

There’s a key facts one pages and a Q&A document which covers some more specific situations and queries and if we can help, please get in touch with the Pharmacy Services team on 0131 466 3540 or by email or phone on 0131 466 3540 if you have any questions.