RPS Guidance on new CD Regulations for Pandemic Supply

Published on: 1st February 2022 | Updated on: 11th November 2022

Three changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDRs) came into force at the end of April, which provide Ministers with emergency powers for the supply of controlled drugs (CDs). The purpose of the changes is to ensure community pharmacies can continue to supply patients with essential medicines at critical times during a pandemic, such as the COVID-19 outbreak. The regulations are enabling so may be used only if ‘activated’ or ‘switched on’ by Ministers and apply in very limited circumstances (i.e they are NOT currently live)
On 7 May 2020, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) issued guidance for pharmacists on the legislation and associated professional guidance The guidance was developed in consultation with the pharmacy sector including CPW.
The three changes to the MDRs set out in the Misuse of Drugs (Coronavirus) (amendments relating to the supply of a Controlled Drugs during a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020  are:

  1. Emergency supply of a CD without a prescription
  2. Emergency supply of a CD against a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP)
  3. Emergency change to a CD instalment direction with the agreement of the prescriber