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Formal policy on prescriptions for patients living or travelling abroad

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The government has announced that it is formalising its current recommendation covering initial and repeat prescriptions for residents moving or travelling abroad.

Now standardised as official policy, all prescribers have been advised that they should not supply treatment for durations of longer than three months.

Those who will be off the Island for longer will need to make local arrangements in their new country of residence.

Prescribers will be advised that anyone travelling off-Island for over three months should be given sufficient supply of any regular medication to allow them to get to their destination and find a local supplier.

There will be some discretion – which will require government approval – to permit lengthier prescribing periods for specific cases, for example oil rig workers or those employed on cruise ships.

The new policy will apply to all services delivered by or contracted to the DHSC. That includes GPs, hospitals, primary care providers and outpatient clinics.

In line with current guidelines, ‘just in case’ travel medication, for example anti-diarrhoeal medicine or antibiotics, should not be prescribed.

The new policy comes into force with immediate effect.

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