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Generic Prescribing within Homecare Medicines Services

As the scope of homecare medicines services increases more and more generic medicines are being prescribed via the homecare supply route. These generic medicines are commonly under contract by the Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU) whereby the awarded generic manufacturer often varies by geographical region.

The national scope of most companies supplying homecare medicines services to the NHS means that homecare providers must dispense and accurately invoice multiple contract lines for the same drug up and down the country.

In response to this issue the RPS Handbook for Homecare Services included the following guidance:

  • if a specific manufacturer’s product is to be dispensed for contract pricing reasons, this must be stated on the prescription. It may be acceptable to specify the manufacturer’s product to be supplied for contract pricing purposes on an associated purchase order, however it is the purchasing authority’s responsibility to ensure that procedures are in place to allow the dispensing pharmacist to have access to this information at the point of dispensing[RPS Handbook for homecare services – Page 27] 
  • if the manufacturer’s product or presentation dispensed is different to that intended by the prescriber but the dispensing pharmacist has dispensed in accordance with the actual prescription presented, this should be recorded as a prescribing error as the prescription was either not clear or not specific[RPS Handbook for homecare services – Page 27]

In support of this guidance the EoECPH approached the key homecare providers servicing the East of England to clarify their company position with regard to:

  • Prescription prescribed generically (WITHOUT contract line detail)
  • Prescription prescribed generically (WITHOUT contract line detail) & accompanied by purchase order (WITH contract line detail)
  • Prescription prescribed generically (WITH contract line detail)

Collated responses can be found in the “Related Files” section to the right of the page.


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[Information on these pages is representative of the EoECPH homecare team only]

Related files