It’s time that pharmacy put its collective foot down over confusion caused by patents, says Noel Wicks
I once heard a quote that ran along the lines of ‘out of chaos comes control’ and that’s certainly how I would describe the unbearable situation pharmacists find themselves in at the moment over the generic launch of pregabalin. It seems that in the chaos generated by the patent court case, everyone is now looking to apply this control to the actions of the pharmacist.
One recent addition to the pile of letters relating to this situation was from the manufacturer writing to us to explain that we ‘need to take steps to ensure the correct product is dispensed’. They suggest that steps might include contacting the prescriber or asking the patient in order to establish the indication. This is despite the fact that the judge in the patent case specifically said that NHS England and other respective NHS bodies would be expected to meet with the manufacturer to give out guidance as a matter of urgency.