Procurement & supply

Pharmacists are recommended to have a written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in place detailing the steps involved in the ordering of ‘Specials’ including risk assessments of the different options available62. For example:

  • A written order listing the formula of the product
  • A certificate of analysis or certificate of conformity as appropriate
  • An MHRA licensed specials supplier is preferred. Details of registered licensed manufacturing sites can be found here
  • Preference should be given to suppliers with a history of satisfactory service (new providers recommended by other pharmacies to be considered)
  • Aim to continue to use the same supplier when dispensing repeat supplies
  • Regularly check that the chosen supplier is offering the best all round service

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  • Prescribing ‘Specials’ – Five guiding principles for prescribers. NPC.
  • Dealing with ‘Specials’. RPSGB.
  • Information and guidance on the prescribing and use of unlicensed pharmaceutical specials. East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub.
  • Association of Pharmaceutical Specials Manufacturers
  • Manufacturer’s and wholesale dealer’s licences. MHRA.
  • Introduction of a 'Specials' tariff. NHS Prescription Services.