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Pregabalin and gabapentin to become controlled drugs

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  • Pregabalin and gabapentin to become controlled drugs

    In April the anticonvulsants Pregabalin and Gabapentin are to become schedule 3 and class C drugs. From my perspective as a patient this has a really negative impact because no longer can I use the EPS system for my prescriptions, we've reverted back to the stone age of ordering paper prescriptions from the GP which comes with all sorts of complications in my experience. Pharmacies obviously now have additional burdens of handling a controlled drug and annoyed patients. The logic makes no sense, I have to sign for pregabalin but not benzodiazepines?!

    I was interested in the perspective of community pharmacies on this issue. Do you really believe there is actually a problem with illegal diversons or is it all government nonsense? And do you think schedule 3 is appropriate compared to benzodiazepines which are only schedule 4?

  • #2
    NHS is hoping to activate CD 2/3 dispensing in England on EPS.
    Getting all the interconnected systems in place for a particular date is not the easiest thing in the world though.

    Surprisingly to many genuine patients who benefit tremendously from treatment, there is a dark subculture dealing in diverted supplies of medication.

    Some changes will affect supplies of medication (note they will not stop the supply of medication but put more control in place)

    Quantities of CD 2/3 should be limited to 28/30 days treatment.
    CD 2/3 Prescriptions have a different expiry : normal NHS are 6 months; CD are 28 days. (any owings are also 28 days)
    CD 2/3 are not permitted on electronic repeat dispensing.

    Also worthy of remembering, if the pharmacy owes you some from before the change the owing gets the new 28 day expiry after the change.

    Pharmacists are not generally consulted on what schedule a drug should be in.
    What we do have to do is follow the law to the letter; which can make us look like the most jobsworth of the jobsworth league.



    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
    How times change.

    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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    • #3
      National Rollout of Schedule 2/3 on EPS has already started.

      https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/nationa...-drugs-in-eps/
      [I]Nice information. I like your information very much. It is a perfect information that clears all my doubts and gives a clear idea regarding that. It is really advantageous for me.I would definably take the benefit of it.[/I]

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      • #4
        The packs are bulky. You will be needing larger CD cupds.
        johnep

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnep View Post
          The packs are bulky. You will be needing larger CD cupds.
          johnep
          They'll be schedule 3 without the storage requirements similar to Tramadol so thankfully this has been avoided!!!

          In essence it avoids stockpiling and gives the GP and pharmacy more touch points with the patient to identify concerning trends. Abuse with both of these drugs has been gradually on the rise particularly by individuals with a history of opiate abuse so it had to happen sooner or later.
          I remember when a blog was an individual boot.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Energize View Post
            Do you really believe there is actually a problem with illegal diversons or is it all government nonsense? And do you think schedule 3 is appropriate compared to benzodiazepines which are only schedule 4?
            There is no doubt there is a major problem with illegal diversion. It shows up in seizures of drugs from those dealing and in those presenting with overdoses.

            In Northern Ireland there are more deaths from prescription medicines than the ‘usual suspects’ of illegal drugs like heroin. I imagine it is the same story elsewhere.
            The big difference with benzodiazepines, which are more addictive, is that these drugs are much more dangerous. You may recover from an overdose, accidental or intentional, of even large quantities of benzodiazepines but a much smaller amount of pregabalin or gabapentin, particularly when combined with other intoxicants can be fatal.

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            • #7
              Is this illegal diversion coming from community pharmacies though? Making it a schedule 3 doesn't stop people who are prescribed it selling it to others. I don't see how the regulation is going to solve the problem. Criminalising drugs has never resulted in a reduction in drug use and creates a black market opportunity for drug dealers.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Energize View Post
                Is this illegal diversion coming from community pharmacies though? Making it a schedule 3 doesn't stop people who are prescribed it selling it to others. I don't see how the regulation is going to solve the problem. Criminalising drugs has never resulted in a reduction in drug use and creates a black market opportunity for drug dealers.
                Exactly so; but I'm not the one to come up with the answer to this problem in society that is as old as society itself.

                Plus, you could argue that this provides the dealers with an income that they would have to turn to 'harder crime' to make up a shortfall, not to mention all the go-betweens making a living out of it.
                That doesn't make it right of course.
                Every action, rule or law has its unintended consequences and people who will find within them an opportunity to cash in.
                47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                How times change.

                If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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                • #9
                  If you make something legal. The attraction of doing something that is banned goes. If it is legal it can be taxed. America found out the hard way that prohibition does not work. What the rural ladies really wanted was closure of the saloons where their husbands were exposed to temptations of gambling and prostitution. This was because the saloons were a male refuge from problems of family life. Excellently shown on the TV series on PBS.
                  Loss of revenue from alcohol led to introduction of income tax.
                  johnep

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johnep View Post
                    If you make something legal. The attraction of doing something that is banned goes. If it is legal it can be taxed. America found out the hard way that prohibition does not work. What the rural ladies really wanted was closure of the saloons where their husbands were exposed to temptations of gambling and prostitution. This was because the saloons were a male refuge from problems of family life. Excellently shown on the TV series on PBS.
                    Loss of revenue from alcohol led to introduction of income tax.
                    johnep
                    The mystic around something illicit and being part of it, the street vocabulary around and being a rebel against something is also part of the rush don't you think?


                    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                    How times change.

                    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, like me smoking Woodbines when I was 10 in the local park. First step would to legalise cannabis and tax it.
                      johnep

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johnep View Post
                        Yes, like me smoking Woodbines when I was 10 in the local park. First step would to legalise cannabis and tax it.
                        johnep
                        You rebel you!

                        I left the toilet seat up once.
                        Don't tell the GPhC.
                        47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                        2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                        How times change.

                        If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                        Comment

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