The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published updated professional guidance for the procurement and supply of pharmaceutical specials.
The guidance aims to support pharmacists and their teams to work with prescribers, patients and carers to ensure the safe and appropriate procurement and supply of specials. The updated guidance reflects regulatory changes, such as updates to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency Guidance, which regulates medicines in the UK, as well as changes in clinical practice that have occurred since the guidance was first published in 2010.
“The use of specials presents the NHS and patients with specific challenges, particularly when patients move between care settings,” says Ash Soni, president of the RPS, in the foreword of the updated guidance. “Decisions about the prescribing, supply and procurement of specials rely heavily on professional judgment based on understanding individual patient need.”
The guidance sets out five key principles, all of which are illustrated by individual case studies. The five principles are to: establish the optimal treatment for the patient; make a shared decision with the patient; identify a preparation and supplier; monitor and review the patient’s need for a special; and ensure effective governance is in place.
The updated guidance is available to download from the RPS website. The RPS will also be updating guidance for prescribers of specials, which is due to be published next year.