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Medicines shortages

Government withdraws first serious shortage protocol for fluoxetine 10mg capsules

Fluoxetine 10mg carton


Now that the serious shortage protocol has been withdrawn, prescriptions for fluoxetine 10mg capsules must be dispensed according to the prescription

The government has withdrawn one of the three serious shortage protocols (SSPs) it introduced on 3 October 2019 in response to shortages of fluoxetine.

The SSP relating to fluoxetine 10mg capsules has been withdrawn by the government as of 23:55 on 25 October 2019, because there is now enough stock available.

The withdrawal of the SSP means prescriptions for fluoxetine 10mg capsules after 25 October 2019 must be dispensed according to the prescription, even if individual wholesalers continue to be out of stock, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has said.

The SSP previously allowed pharmacists to substitute the capsules for fluoxetine 10mg tablets, 2.5ml fluoxetine 20mg/5ml oral solution or 2.5ml fluoxetine 20mg/5ml oral solution sugar free.

The other SSPs relating to fluoxetine 30mg capsules and fluoxetine 40mg capsules, respectively, remain in effect until 31 October 2019.

However, the PSNC said that this expiry date may be brought forward or extended, and the content may be amended throughout this period, adding that pharmacists should ensure they are using the current version of an SSP before supplying an alternative product.

Legislation came into force on 1 July 2019, enabling pharmacists to dispense against an SSP instead of a prescription without going back to the prescriber first, in an effort to manage medicines shortages.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207247

Readers' comments (1)

  • So , 10mg capsules are back in stock - at £66.16 for a pack of 30 according to the DT.

    When they weren't available a patient was perfectly happy to have 2.5ml of the 20mg/5ml oral solution against the SSP - £2.81 for 70ml.

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