Extension to SSP016 (Lipitor®10mg chewable tablets) & SSP017 (Lipitor®20mg chewable tablets)

Update 25/02/2022 – The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided an update on the Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) for Lipitor® 10mg & 20mg chewable tablets.

SSP016 for Lipitor® 10mg chewable tablets was expected to expire on 25 February 2022 but the end date has been extended to Friday 18 March 2022.

SSP017 for Lipitor® 20mg chewable tablets was expected to expire on 11 March 2022 but the end date has been extended to Wednesday 30 March 2022.


In response to a significant ongoing disruption to the supply of Lipitor® 10mg & 20mg chewable tablets , two Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) have been issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Effective today, 15 February 2022SSP016 and SSP017 provides that for every Lipitor® 10mg or 20mg chewable tablet originally prescribed, one Atorvastatin 10mg or 20mg tablet must be supplied. SSP016 and SSP017, authorised by the Secretary of State, has been developed by clinicians and provides pharmacists with procedures to follow in providing either of these suitable alternative products to help reduce the number of patients having to return to their prescriber for a replacement prescription.

For prescriptions (NHS or private) requesting: Supply permitted under SSP016:
Lipitor® 10mg chewable tablets Atorvastatin 10mg tablets

The SSP may be amended or revoked at any time but currently expires on 25 February 2022 – PSNC will update contractors on any changes.

For prescriptions (NHS or private) requesting: Supply permitted under SSP017:
Lipitor® 20mg chewable tablets Atorvastatin 20mg tablets

The SSP may be amended or revoked at any time but currently expires on 11 March 2022 – PSNC will update contractors on any changes.

Key points relating to SSP016 & SSP017

  • Ensure that patients considered unsuitable for inclusion are promptly referred to their prescriber for further advice.
  • The supervising pharmacist should ensure that the patient’s prescriber is notified when supplying a patient in accordance with this SSP
  • The supervising should pharmacist refer back to the prescriber if, in their professional judgement, a non-chewable atorvastatin tablet would not be appropriate for the patient.
  • For endorsing requirements please refer to NHSBSA’s supporting guidance for SSP016 and SSP017 respectively.

Pharmacists must exercise their professional judgement to ensure the alternative products are suitable for the patient.

Contractors will receive an email to their shared NHSmail account informing them of this SSP and pharmacy teams are advised to read the documentation for SSP016 and SSP017 in full and to implement the protocol with immediate effect. Pharmacists are required to read and comply with the requirements outlined within the individual SSP as published on the NHSBSA website for SSP016: Lipitor® 10mg chewable tablets and SSP017: Lipitor® 20mg chewable tablets

Reimbursement

Reimbursement is for the medicine supplied in accordance with the SSP and not the originally prescribed medicine i.e. in this instance contractors will be reimbursed the Drug Tariff Part VIIIA reimbursement price for Atorvastatin 10mg or 20mg tablets. The reimbursement price will account for VAT payment. Supply in accordance with the SSP will result in the following fees being paid to the contractor:

  • One Single Activity fee (currently £1.29)
  • One SSP fee (£5.35)

Support in implementing the SSPs

The following resources have been developed to support pharmacy teams in using these protocols.

Current versions of SSPs

Serious Shortage Protocols Operational Guidance

Serious Shortage Protocols Questions & Answers

PSNC’s Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) Endorsing Factsheet

PSNC Briefing 023/19: Serious Shortage Protocols – A guide for community pharmacy teams

Background information on SSPs

Further information on what SSPs are and when they may be used is available via the links below.

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) on-demand webinar

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) webpage

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