SSP regulations now in place in N Ireland
Changes to the Northern Ireland Pharmaceutical Regulations came into force on 31 October 2019 to allow for the introduction of Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) in the event of a serious shortage of medicines.
Contractors will be notified of the issuing of SSPs applicable to Northern Ireland in a number of ways:
- The Business Service Organisation’s website will contain details of all SSPs. New SSPs or amended existing SSPs will be flagged
- Contractors will be advised by the HSCB when a new SSP is published, or when an amendment is made to an existing SSP
- CPNI website – issue of, and updates to, SSPs operating in Northern Ireland will be highlighted. CPNI has previously notified contractors of the general principles behind SSPs.
Further detailed guidance has been issued by the Department of Health. This includes form SSP/F/01 which can be downloaded to facilitate the notification of prescribers where necessary (notification of the prescriber is only required where a supply is made to a patient for a therapeutic equivalent or when notification of the prescriber is required under the terms of a specific SSP). A copy of FAQs and a patient information leaflet will also be made available on the BSO website.
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