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Withdrawal of Serious Shortage Protocol for fluoxetine 10mg capsule

Following the successful implementation of SSP01, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that sufficient stock is now available of fluoxetine 10mg capsules to supply normal demand.

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The Serious Shortage Protocol for fluoxetine 10mg capsules (ref: SSP01) has therefore been withdrawn from 23:55 on Friday 25 October 2019.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.

The Serious Shortage Protocols for fluoxetine 30mg and 40mg capsules remain in effect until 31 October 2019 and can be viewed on our website.

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 NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) website.

Contact Information

Kate Blush

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