Dispensing private prescriptions

There are a number of considerations when dispensing private prescriptions, and when written by third parties.

1) If a private prescription is written by the doctor for a patient under their care then The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (Reg 223) permit the supply. However, if that patient is on the NHS list of the doctor writing the prescription, under section 19.1 of the GP contract the practice cannot charge the patient either for the prescribing or the cost of the medicine supplied. (There are certain exemptions to this regulation (19.1.2), including ‘blacklisted’ items)

2) Dispensing of a private prescription written by a third party is forbidden under the terms of Regulation 220 of The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 and the patient must be directed to a pharmacy. This is not always in the patients’ best interests  but it is clear in law and to dispense such an item would be to commit a criminal offence.

The only alternative to avoid committing such an offence, would be to re-write the private prescription either on an FP10 or as a private prescription: both these “solutions” are to be strongly discouraged since in both scenarios the doctor would be taking on clinical responsibility for that prescription and in the second would have to supply at the practice’s expense.

For further information:
Human Medicines regulations 220 223 (excerpt)

DDA Quality in Practice guidance. Section 1.9