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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Generic prescribing for MR opiates

The Practice Committee of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain recently advised clinicians that modified-release (MR) morphine preparations should be prescribed by brand name.

In a recent article recommendations were made on this site that brand name prescribing of fentanyl was avoidable in the majority of circumstances except where the patches were being cut in half before application.

According to a new press release, the Practice Committee has reviewed its advice in light of information provided by the British National Formulary. The advice now states, "the Practice Committee does not recommend routine brand-name prescribing of modified-release morphine preparations and fentanyl patches".

The press release also advises that fentanyl patches of the reservoir type should never be cut before application and that cutting of the matrix type patch renders the use outside the product license.

Action: The recommendations made here previously still apply. Clinicians who prescribe fentanyl should not recommend cutting patches. Fentanyl and modified-release opiates can routinely be prescribed in the generic form.

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