NHS Digital is preparing to pilot the prescribing and dispensing of EPS Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs in England. Vision and EMIS will begin piloting at 10 GP practices this month at sites in the north and London.

Instalment dispensing of methadone (FP10MDA forms) won't be possible because this requires additional changes to be made to EPS. Prescribers are being asked not to prescribe oral liquid methadone using EPS.

To meet legislative requirements requiring quantities of CDs to be expressed in words and figures, the prescribing system will automatically populate this information in both formats in the prescription message.

A method of ‘marking’ the prescription ‘at the time of supply’ should be decided to ensure compliance with the Misuse of Drug Regulations. The dispense notification is suitable for this but another patient medication record process that records a date and leaves an electronic audit trail may be more suitable. Dispense notifications should be sent as close as possible to the time the patient was given the medication.

The ‘best practice’ guidance regarding the capture of a signature on the back of an FP10 from the person collecting a Schedule 2 or 3 CD also applies to EPS prescriptions, and the signature can be captured on the back of a dispensing or prescription token, with these tokens being sent to the NHSBSA in the same month the claim is submitted.

For age exempt patients (under 16 years of age or 60 years of age and over), there is no requirement to capture a signature for exemption from prescription charges and so only age exempt tokens that also capture a signature for collection of a Schedule 2 or 3 item should be sent to the NHSBSA.

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