Home > GP concerns were raised over any benzodiazepine prescription changes.

[Medical Independent] GP concerns were raised over any benzodiazepine prescription changes. (23 Oct 2014)

The largest number of public submissions made in the review of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations last year came from GPs concerned about any introduction of mandatory written prescriptions for benzodiazepines and z-drugs, this newspaper has learned.

Following the public review, the Department of Health publicly clarified the situation last year and stated that controlled drug prescription handwriting requirements would not apply to these medicines.

In the over 100 submissions made during the review process in 2013 and seen by the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information legislation, more than 40 per cent of the submissions are from GPs or from groups of GPs worried about any possible change.

One GP “based in north Dublin” wrote that any change “would place an unmanageable increase in the workload for GPs in an our already paperwork-loaded environment, taking time away from patient consultations”.

However, the Department of Health said that such mandatory hand-written prescriptions were never planned to be introduced as part of the new regulations. “It was never intended that the controlled drug prescription handwriting requirements would apply to these medicines,” a Department spokesperson told MI.

“Following receipt of a number of submissions on the matter by concerned practitioners, this point was clarified further on the Departments website.” The spokesperson also told MI that the text of the new regulations should be finalised “later this year”.

“Once the regulations are ready, they are subject to a three month EU notification period under the Technical Standards Directive, because of the implications of the proposed regulatory changes on trade in pharmaceutical products.”

Item Type:News
Source:Medical Independent
Date:23 October 2014
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Sedatives or tranquillisers (CNS depressants) > Benzodiazepine
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Prescription drug (medicine / medication)
T Demographic characteristics > Doctor
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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