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E-DRUG: Great Britain - Original pack dispensing delayed again

More from the pages of the current edition of the International 
Pharmacy Journal.


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

----------End of Original Message----------

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
E-mail: advisers@echointl.demon.co.uk  

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