Dispensing medicines in monitored dosage systems (MDS)

19 Mar 2020

During the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic situation, your pharmacy may be under a lot of pressure, for example, due to staff shortages, and may struggle to continue to provide medicines to relevant patients in MDS trays. The critical element is that patients continue to receive their medicines promptly as promptly as these extremely difficult circumstances permit, irrespective of whether it can be loaded into an MDS.

We understand that the Equality Act may potentially be breached. However, faced with the decision of being able to supply the medicines or not, it is better to ensure that the patients receive their medicines rather than go without treatment at all. This would be a pragmatic approach. The NPA will continue to support pharmacists when exercising their professional judgement when deciding if they can supply via MDS or dispensing medicines in their original packs.

As with all the other pragmatic decision you will make during these trying times, it is best to ensure that good records are made of any actions/decisions you take which is outside your usual procedures. It is also advisable to ensure that if you decide to supply patients with original packs instead of MDS trays, that this is communicated clearly to the patients, as well as carers and family members as applicable.

For further information please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891800 or email at:  pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk.