PSNC submits response to DHSC consultation on OPD

PSNC has submitted its response to the proposals set out in the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) consultation on Original Pack Dispensing (OPD) and supply of medicines containing sodium valproate.

The consultation proposes regulatory changes that would grant pharmacists the flexibility to dispense (up to 10%) more or less than the prescribed quantity of a given medicine if this means that they can dispense it in the manufacturer’s original packs, except when dispensing controlled drugs, or where this would negatively affect the patient’s clinical treatment regimen.

PSNC’s consultation response indicates that broadly PSNC supports appropriate changes to the Human Medicines Regulations to enable OPD, as anticipated in the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework for 2019/20 to 2023/24 (the 5-year deal) with the following comments and observations:

  • Patient considerations are more nuanced than described and include reference to patient preference and payment of the NHS charge;
  • The proposed 10% discretion may be insufficient to allow community pharmacy to make full use of OPD;
  • OPD provides efficiencies for certain community pharmacies, particularly those with large-scale automated dispensing, or remote hub assembly units, but is unlikely to provide efficiencies for all community pharmacies;           
  • NHS considerations (regulatory and funding) around OPD should dovetail with the HMR changes to ensure that the HMR changes provide the basis for all options required for NHS OPD;  
  • Community pharmacies will be concerned about the reimbursement mechanism around OPD within NHS dispensing (this is not part of the current consultation);
  • Changes around sodium valproate are agreed on an exceptional basis; however, it is considered that the general OPD proposals would achieve the desired patient safety aim for the product (with suitable professional advice).

You can read PSNC’s response to the DHSC consultation on OPD in full here.

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