Summary of Changes in the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2017 | ICPhA

Summary of Changes in the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2017

ICPhA.ie is temporarily open to anonymous access. Please REGISTER your own account to ensure continued access.

By signing up, you will also enable additional functionality, such as COMMENTING, SEARCHING, VOTING ON/VIEWING polls and gain ACCESS to the PRIVATE FORUM area.

Register »

It's probably fair to say that the recent changes made to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations by the Department of Health came as a bit of a surprise to everyone. They take effect from 4th May 2017 and are summarised below as per PSI guidance.

The 2017 Regulations are not yet available on the Irish Statute Book but in the meantime an unofficial draft of the Regulations and details on the commencement of the regulations is available on the Department of Health website.

Changes for Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs

The name and address of the patient no longer has to be handwritten by the prescriber, however a number of additional elements are required on the prescription in order to aid identification and ensure clarity:

  • the first name of the prescriber (not required to be handwritten)
  • the prescriber’s registration number (not required to be handwritten)
  • the name of the controlled drug (required to be handwritten). This can be either the brand name or the generic name of the drug.

Changes for Schedule 4 Part 1 Controlled Drugs

The benzodiazepines previously found in schedule 4 of these Regulations are now found in a new schedule 4 part 1 of the new 2017 Regulations. The “z-drugs” zopiclone, zolpidem and zaleplon are now subject to control under the Misuse of Drugs Act and will also be listed in schedule 4 part 1.

One of the most significant effects of the new Regulations, in relation to benzodiazepines and z-drugs, is that the restrictions in place on the possession of controlled drugs will now apply to these medicines. A form of controlled drug prescription will also be required for these medicines.

The specific criteria to be included on a prescription for schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs will now also apply to drugs in schedule 4 part 1, however (similar to prescriptions for methadone) these will not have to be handwritten. The details required are:

  • the name (including first name) and registration number of the prescriber
  • name of the drug
  • dose
  • pharmaceutical form
  • strength (where appropriate)
  • the total quantity in both words and figures

Prescriptions for drugs in schedule 4 part 1 will not have to be dispensed within 14 days of the date they are issued on the prescription and may be repeated.

Pharmacists will be required to keep a copy of all prescriptions and any endorsements made for drugs in part 1 of schedule 4 for two years after the date of supply and mark prescriptions accordingly. Pharmacists are also required to keep a copy of this record of dispensing made on the prescription.

Prescriptions for drugs listed in schedule 4 part 1, issued before the 4 May 2017, shall continue to be valid. Prescriptions for all controlled drugs issued after this date must comply with the new prescription requirements.

New MDA 2017 Prescription Writing Requirements
New MDA 2017 Prescription Writing Requirements Summary

See also:

Source: Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2017 (PSI)

 

Latest Articles

  • Forged Prescriptions (Confirmed and Suspected)

      As the number of forged prescriptions increases so does the need to do something about it. This is an attempt to catalog known and suspected forged prescriptions to enable easier identification of same. Please feel free to email additional examples to us by replying to your registration...
  • New Phased Dispensing Arrangements - May 2017

    In their effort to reduce medical expenditure, the HSE has brought in additional administrative barriers to phased dispensing. They were communicated to the pharmacists in the Circular 013/17 on 10 April 2017, which is reproduced below (our emphasis). These validation arrangements for submitting...
  • Summary of Changes in the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2017

    It's probably fair to say that the recent changes made to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations by the Department of Health came as a bit of a surprise to everyone. They take effect from 4th May 2017 and are summarised below as per PSI guidance. The 2017 Regulations are not yet available on the Irish...

Latest News

  • No More Paper Based Claims Listings

    In another cost cutting measure, the HSE PCRS will stop posting out physical paper-based claims listings from 1st July 2018. The document will then only be available online via the Pharmacy Application Suite. Small exception has been made for manual claiming pharmacies, which will receive their...
  • LTI Non-Core List Reimbursement to Change in July

    The HSE have signaled that they will reduce the reimbursement period of non-approved non-core LTI items from current 4 months to just 2 months beginning on the 1st of July 2018. This change is being introduced ahead of the promised improved visibility of these individually approved items via the...
  • Can we still use faxes under GDPR?

    It's the eve of GDPR implementation and one of our favourite tools is under threat. A lot of rumors have been going around regarding the use of fax to transfer personal information such as an emergency supply script for example. Well, we're happy to report that you can take a deep breath and relax...
  • May 2018 Claim Submission Deadlines

    It's that time of the month again. Here are May's claim submission deadlines: Early payment - Electronic claims (3rd working day): Thursday, 3rd May 2018. - Paperwork (5pm on the 5th day): 5th day being a Saturday, you have until Tuesday, 8th May 2018. Normal payment - Electronic claims (7th day...
  • Garda Vetting Required for Pharmacies

      Garda vetting requirements apply to any work or activity, where it is a necessary and regular part of this activity to have access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable persons. It shoud come as no surprise that at the very minimum this includes pharmacists and pharmaceutical assistants who...