More from the pages of the current edition of the International
Original pack dispensing delayed again
Great Britain. The UK is one of the few countries which
still dispenses tablets and capsules from bulk stock, by pouring and
counting into dispensing containers. With the exception of The
Netherlands, all of Europe uses original manufacturers packs
designed for delivery unopened to the patient. The other main bulk
user is the USA.
The decision to move to original packs was made by the
government last year, after many years of debate. However, although
a timetable was set, the Department of
Health has recently admitted that what it terms the 'patient
pack prescribing initiative'
will not be in full operation before the autumn at the earliest.
Ministers are said to be
'trying to resolve snagging problems'. These are thought to include
the problem of hospital dispensing, where the non-availability of bulk
packs would lead to serious cost increases. Another problem concerns
the patient information leaflets for hospital
in-patients. There are also problems with the law as it stands at the moment.
Alan W Davidson
General Secretary, International Pharmaceutical Federation
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Carolyn Green, Sen.Pharm.Adviser
ECHO International Health Services,
Ullswater Crescent, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 2HR UK
Phone: 44(0)181 660 2220 Fax: 44(0)181 668 0751