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Paramedics and POMs

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  • Paramedics and POMs

    A question.
    A friend of mine employs paramedics to do their thing in parallel to NHS services. However they are finding it difficult to get supplies of morphine and other drugs that they need in the course of their work.

    My friend says that he believes that paramedics are able to order such drugs, using a signed order, but they are finding it difficult to find any pharmacy willing to supply them without having the request countersigned by a doctor.

    Does anyone know the legal position on this? - Is my friend right?

    Is there a pharmacy with a wholesale license within reach of Manchester, Lancaster, or Stoke-on-Trent which is willing to supply my friend's company, and to guide them through the relevant paperwork?

    Research on the MHRA website seems to indicate that the pharmacy would need a wholesale license, and from there it is pretty straightforward.

    ....just my opinion

  • #2
    Re: Paramedics and POMs

    Information in the following thread may be helpful (particularly the post below):
    Paramedic Drugs - General Questions - First Aid Cafe Forum

    As a Paramedic, I order my own POM/ OTC drugs through DM Wood as pas has advised. I can order POMS/ CD's covered by my statutory exemption. The MHRA website indicates all drugs that are covered by this. For POM's/ OTC drugs, I only have to put my order on letter headed paper and present my registration card.

    Ordering CD's is a little more difficult. I needed to fit a safe into my home and ensure that it is alarmed etc. To order my CD's from the Pharmacy, I need a specific CD's requisition form. As pas has said, a PPSA prescriber card isn't required as we don't prescribe as such. We prescribe and then immediately administer drugs under emergency conditions, not prescribe drugs for the patient to take away. However, I still need to use the same CD's requisition form as GP's for audit purposes (one of the recomendations from the Shipman enquiry). I spoke to my local PCT drugs advisor who has arranged for the requisition forms to be supplied to me. Requisition forms are customised for the individual with their name and address indelibly marked on them. The submitted forms must be original, not scans/ photocopies and I need to present my registration card at the time of the order. I use my local Lloyds pharmacy for CD's.

    The group exemption allows me to prescribe/ administer Morphine Sulphate up to 20mg per patient. I can hold larger stocks to enable me to treat multiple patients but must only hold a minimal amount. For example, I can order 10 vials at a time and hold 20 vials max (200mg) but I never have this amount - 6 ampoules is sufficient to cover a weekend away.

    So in answer to the original question, yes Paramedics can order all their own drugs from any Pharmacy but they must have regard for the law.


    • #3
      Re: Paramedics and POMs

      The pharmacy shouldn't need a wholesale licence. From MEP 37:

      The MHRA takes the view that the supply of medicines by community and hospital pharmacies to other healthcare providers in the UK who need to hold medicines for treatment of or onward supply to their patients represents an important and appropriate part of the professional practice of both community and hospital pharmacy and falls within the definition of provision of healthcare services. In such circumstances, the MHRA will not deem such transactions as commercial dealing and pharmacies will not be required to hold a Wholesale Dealer’s Licence.
      A paramedic may write their own requisitions for any of the drugs listed on the link you posted without having it countersigned by a doctor.
      The law also allows registered paramedics to obtain stocks of the injectable medicines which they can administer on their own initiative as well as pharmacy medicines for administration in the course of a business operated by them.
      (Paramedics: Exemptions : MHRA).

      The use of standardised CD requisition forms is not a legal requirement, but it is good practice, so the paramedics in your organisation may wish to speak to their local PCT to try and get some. Failing that, they can legally write one on headed notepaper so long as they include all the necessary information.


      • #4
        Re: Paramedics and POMs

        Thank you so much for looking at this, and giving the information.

        I have passed it on to a very appreciative friend!
        ....just my opinion


        • #5
          Can anyone recommend an online wholesale supplier for Paramedic POMs for a Private ambulance service based in the UK.