Variation of Serious Shortage Protocol for fluoxetine
Serious Shortage Protocols for fluoxetine 30mg and fluoxetine 40mg capsules are being varied to extend the end date.
This October, the government agreed a serious shortage protocol (SSP) for the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant Fluoxetine, in an effort to cope with shortages.
This was the first time pharmacists could dispense an alternative to the prescribed medication without contacting a GP under an SSP.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has now announced that Serious Shortage Protocols for fluoxetine 30mg and fluoxetine 40mg capsules are being varied to extend the end date, which was previously 31 October 2019.
The revised end dates for these SSPs are now:
- Fluoxetine 30mg capsules – 20 November 2019
- Fluoxetine 40mg capsules – 11 November 2019
More information about these SSPs is available on the NHSBSA’s website.
Following the successful implementation of SSP01, the DHSC has announced that sufficient stock is now available of fluoxetine 10mg capsules to supply normal demand.
The Serious Shortage Protocol for fluoxetine 10mg capsules (SSP01) has therefore been withdrawn from 23:55 on Friday 25 October 2019. Any prescriptions for fluoxetine 10mg capsules after this date must be dispensed in accordance with the prescription, as the SSP will no longer be valid for use.
If the DHSC decides there is a serious shortage of a specific medicine or appliance, then an SSP may be issued.
The contractor must use their professional skill and judgement to decide, alongside medical experts, whether it's reasonable and appropriate to substitute the patient's prescribed order for the active SSP. The patient would also have to agree to the alternative supply for that dispensing month.
Updated supporting guidance for these protocols will be published online via the NHSBSA website.
Senior Media and Campaigns Officer
NHS Business Services Authority
Notes to editors
About the NHS Business Services Authority
The NHS Business Services Authority is a Special Health Authority and an Arm’s Length Body of the Department of Health and Social Care which provides a range of critical central services to NHS organisations, NHS contractors, patients and the public. Its purpose is to be a catalyst for better health and its vision is to be the delivery partner of choice for the NHS. For more information about the NHSBSA, please visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk