Guidance for Pharmacists on the Safe Supply and Administration of Prescription-Only Medicines for the Purpose of Saving Life or Reducing Severe Distress in an Emergency

The purpose of this guidance is to facilitate pharmacists and pharmacy owners, in meeting the legal requirements for supply and administration of specified prescription-only medicines to a person in an emergency. 

Guidance for Pharmacists on the Safe Supply and Administration of Prescription-Only Medicines for the Purpose of Saving Life or Reducing Severe Distress in an Emergency pdf cover

The enactment of the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2015 increases access to certain prescription-only medicines in an emergency situation. This has the potential to save the life of a person who otherwise may not have access to the appropriate treatment within the necessary time frame.   

A pharmacist is authorised to supply and administer specified prescription-only medicines in the course of their professional practice, without a prescription (even if the person has not been prescribed the medicine before), at any place, for the purpose of saving life or reducing severe distress in an emergency, provided that they comply with the requirements of the Regulations.  

In order to supply and administer the prescription-only medicines specified under these Regulations the pharmacist must first successfully complete a training course approved by the PSI, on the safe use of that medicine, and obtain the prescribed certificate. 

For further guidance on this area of practice, please see our supply of emergency medicines section.