Supply of Emergency Medicines

In 2015, legislation granted pharmacists the authority to administer life-saving medicines in emergencies. This page offers guidance on the safe supply and administration of these medicines, training requirements, and information for listed organisations.

In 2015 an amendment to the legislation gave pharmacists additional powers to administer theses medicines for the purpose of saving life or reducing severe distress in emergency situations.

  • Salbutamol inhaler
  • Glyceryl trinitrate aerosol (sublingual spray)
  • Glucagon injection
  • Naloxone injection

Supply and administration of an emergency medicine by a pharmacist

The PSI developed this guidance for pharmacists on the provisions of the legislation, including obtaining consent and the record keeping requirements when a medicine is administered to a patient in an emergency. Guidance on educating patients on the management of these conditions and preparing staff members and the pharmacy for an emergency situation is also provided.

Training for Pharmacists

We provide a guide to training that pharmacists need to complete for the safe supply and administration of emergency medicines under this legislation.

Supply of emergency medicines to listed organisations

Legislation introduced in 2015 to allow for wider access to medicines in an emergency also, allows trained non-medical people to administer specified medicines in an emergency. An organisation that is entered on the listed organisations register can obtain these medicines from a pharmacy to hold as stock on their premises for administration in an emergency situation. The register for listed organisations is available on the Health Products Regulatory Authority’s (HPRA) website. A valid signed order must be presented to a pharmacist in order to make the supply and pharmacists must check the information provided in the signed order matches that on the HPRA’s register. Pharmacists have a legal and professional responsibility to ensure that these medicines are supplied with appropriate information to enable their correct use, and that the risk of them being used incorrectly or to cause harm is minimised.

The PSI has developed an explanatory note to assist pharmacists and pharmacy owners in meeting the requirements of the legislation for the supply of emergency medicines from a pharmacy to a listed organisation to hold as stock.

Further information about the training courses for non-medical persons, and FAQs for organisations wishing to administer emergency medicines under SI 449 of 2015, are available on the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council’s website.

Current provisions for the ‘Emergency Supply’ of prescription medicines

This legislation gives additional powers to pharmacists on the administration of certain medicines in an emergency situation. This legislation does not amend or affect the current ‘emergency supply’ provisions (Regulation 8) of the prescription and control of supply legislation, which allows pharmacists to supply a prescription-only medicine at the request of a patient or a doctor under specific circumstances. More information on the requirements of this legislation is provided in the Inspectors advice on ‘emergency supply’.