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May Hints & Tips covers FOC prescription management

Ensure the correct endorsements and patient declarations

May 7th 2021

Tagged: Dispensary guidance news England

By Ailsa Colquhoun

The May issue of NHS BSA’s Hints and Tips is now online, with reminder advice for dispensing doctors on managing free of charge prescriptions.

The bulletin reiterates the importance of selecting the correct exemption category, to avoid an incorrect Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) being issued.

Other points covered include:

  • Contraceptive items: NHSBSA automatically identifies contraceptive items listed in Part XVI of the Drug Tariff as FOC. For items not listed in Part XVI that may be used for contraceptive purposes, the prescriber must endorse the prescription with CC, OC or the female symbol (♀) to indicate that no prescription charge should be incurred
  • Sexual health treatments: When a patient is prescribed FOC sexual health treatment, the prescriber should endorse the item ‘FS’ to indicate that it is a free supply and no prescription charge should be incurred
  • If the only item(s) on the prescription are FOC contraceptives, or for contraceptive purposes endorsed CC, OC or ♀or endorsed with FS: the patient doesn’t need to make a declaration
  • HMP prisoners: the ‘patient does not need to pay the prescription charge’ box should only be used for Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMP) prisoners.