Important message for patients who are prescribed Pregabalin or Gabapentin
A new law is being introduced involving the supply of Gabapentin or Pregabalin prescriptions from your GP. From 1st April 2019, amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and the Safe Custody Regulations 1973 will come into force which means that Pregabalin and Gabapentin will be classified as Schedule 3 Controlled Drugs (CDs). This follows a Government consultation and recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for additional safeguards to be put in place because of concerns around the misuse of these drugs. The move in the law comes after experts highlighted rising numbers of fatalities linked to the drugs. The change means it will be illegal to possess Pregabalin and Gabapentin without a prescription and it will be illegal to supply or sell them to others.
The drugs, which are used to treat nerve pain, epilepsy and anxiety, can bring about an elevated mood in users but can also have serious side effects, particularly when used in combination with other drugs. Changes to general practice prescribing systems will have to be made ahead of 1st April 2019, when Pregabalin and gabapentin will be classified as Schedule 3 Controlled Drugs (CDs).
What does the law change mean?
The change in law means that Doctors will now need to physically sign prescriptions, rather than electronic copies being accepted by pharmacists. In addition, pharmacists must dispense the drugs within 28 days of the prescription being written.
Dukinfield Medical Practice’s prescribing system is being updated by 15th February 2019. Once the software is updated, any repeat prescriptions for Pregabalin and Gabapentin which have previously been issued as electronic prescriptions will revert to being issued via paper prescriptions.
You may notice that the quantity on your prescription will be reduced to 28 days’ supply. This is because the law has a strict 28 day expiry date for when prescriptions for controlled drugs are dispensed.
You must remember to collect your Pregabalin/ Gabapentin prescription from the GP surgery as it will not be sent electronically to your pharmacy. If you have other prescription items issued which are not classed as controlled drugs, these will still continue to be sent to your pharmacy, electronically.
If you have any questions about the change or would like a review of your Pregabalin / Gabapentin medication please contact the practice to arrange a telephone consultation.
Information taken from: