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Consultation opens on tamsulosin POM to P switch

Consultation has opened to reclassify the alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist tamsulosin from a prescription-only to a pharmacy medicine.

The pharmacy model put forward by Boehringer Ingelheim, the company behind the POM to P request, allows an initial supply of tamsulosin 0.4mg once daily for 2–10 weeks for the treatment of symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men over the age of 45 years. Further supplies would follow only after a doctor had confirmed the diagnosis of BPH.

The patient may then receive tamsulosin from their pharmacist for up to 12 months from the date of the doctor’s initial diagnosis or subsequent annual review.

Pharmacists will be expected to provide a routine prostate health and awareness counselling service to men asking for tamsulosin.

They will also be expected to counsel the customer using Royal Pharmaceutical Society practice guidance and a customer symptoms questionnaire designed to assess the duration and severity of lower urinary tract symptoms and to rule out “red flag” conditions. Such conditions include pain on urination, blood in urine, cloudy urine, fever and excessive thirst. If any of these are detected, the pharmacist should tell the the customer’s GP and complete a GP referral letter.

Boehringer Ingelheim says access to Flomax Relief, the intended name for the pharmacy medicine, would not only give pharmacists an opportunity to treat men for lower urinary tract symptoms, but also provide earlier intervention for other chronic conditions such as diabetes.

They add: “This is a positive move towards engaging with men who would not normally see a healthcare professional.”

The consultation, available via the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency website, closes on 15 January 2009.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10040676

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  • Consultation has opened for the POM to P switch of tamsulosin

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