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DH withdraws shortage protocol for fluoxetine 10mg

DH: There is now sufficient stock of fluoxetine 10mg, as well as 20mg
DH: There is now sufficient stock of fluoxetine 10mg, as well as 20mg

The government will withdraw its serious shortage protocol (SSP) for fluoxetine 10mg capsules on Friday evening.

Sufficient stocks of the 10mg strength are “now available to meet normal demand”, and from 11:55pm on Friday (October 25) they “must be prescribed and dispensed in the usual way, as the SSP will no longer be valid for use”, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) said.

The protocols for fluoxetine 30mg and 40mg capsules will remain in effect, it added.

What are the serious shortage protocols?

The SSPs for fluoxetine – the first, and so far only, SSPs to be announced – were issued by the DH on October 3, granting pharmacists the ability to supply an alternative strength or form of fluoxetine 10mg, 30mg or 40mg capsules, without contacting a patient’s GP first.

More information and supporting guidance on SSPs can be found on the NHS Business Services Authority’s website.

How have the fluoxetine shortages affected you?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I am so happy, the usage is very low. I am hoping the money kept seperately for this purpose is given back to the pharmacies in a equal proportion, than a select few getting the funds.

janet maynard, Community pharmacist

Are we all so stupid that we need shortage protocols!

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Honestly, I have not seen any usage of the SSP. There appears to be so little known about how it works amongst the majority of Pharmacists, that the method of just having the prescription changed seems to be preferential.

SSP needs an overhaul in my opinion, as it stands at the moment, it doesn't seem to be very beneficial to patients, surgery or pharmacies in a practical sense.

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