Controlled drug prescription requirements

exp date isn't null, but text field is

Background

Prescriptions for Controlled Drugs (CDs) are subject to strict legal requirements as set out within The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Prescriptions for CDs that do not comply with legal requirements will have to be re-written correctly before the prescription can be dispensed. This may result in delays in the patient being discharged.

Electronic Immediate Discharge Letter

Controlled Drugs must include the following:

  • From drop down menu select CORRECT:
    • Approved name:
      • except for combination products, or where a specific brand, e.g. sustained release products, is necessary due to variation in clinical response between brands e.g. Zomorph
    • Formulation
    • Strength: where multiple strengths are required each strength should be prescribed separately
    • Clearly defined dose:
      • e.g. ONE when required is acceptable but ‘when required’ is not
  • Total quantity, in word and figures, to be supplied MUST be added to the ‘DETAILS’ field (see below)
  • IDL MUST be printed then signed and dated by the prescriber and sent to pharmacy before the CD can be released.

IDL example:

Pass prescriptions

Pass prescriptions are mostly a nurse led process and medication is dispensed from the patient’s prescription sheet. For Controlled Drugs a separate prescription sheet is required and must include the following:

  • Patients address. Addressograph labels must not be used as this does not fulfill the legal requirement that the name and address are indelible
  • Approved name:
    • except for combination products, or where a specific brand, e.g. sustained release products, is necessary due to variation in clinical response between brands e.g. Zomorph
  • Clearly defined dose:
    • e.g. ONE when required is acceptable but ‘when required’ is not
  • Correct formulation:
    • irrespective of whether it is implicit in the proprietary name e.g. MST Continus
  • If the form or strength requested do not exist the prescription will be returned to the prescriber for amendment
  • Strength, where appropriate,
    • when more than strength exists the strength required MUST be specified
    • where multiple strengths are required each strength should be prescribed separately
  • Total quantity to be supplied must be written in both words and figures
  • Original copy MUST be sent to pharmacy before the CD can be released
Pass prescription example

Patient prescribed morphine sulfate modified release 50mg twice a day and immediate release 10-20mg when required. Prescription should read:

  • Zomorph MR 30mg capsules, One tablet twice daily x 14 (fourteen tablets)
  • Zomorph MR 10mg capsules, Two tablets twice daily x 28 (twenty-eight tablets)
  • Sevredol 10mg tablets, 10-20mg every 2 to 4 hours when required for pain, Supply 14 (fourteen tablets)
Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 25 February 2020

Next review: 25 February 2023

Author(s): Mental Health Pharmacy Service

Version: 1

Approved By: PMG-MH

Reviewer Name(s): Andrew Walker, Suzanne Burke