Stock Medication vs Named Patient Medication: Which is more beneficial?

 In Medicines Management Processes, Simplifying Product Supply

Our focus is always to help our clients get the maximum benefit from our range of services. This includes helping you use your medication efficiently and effectively.

There are many differences between Stock Medication and Named Patient supplies, and to some extent, most hospitals would need to use a combination of the two. However, we would always recommend you use stock medication wherever possible. Named Patient supplies should only be used when stock medication is not appropriate.

Stock Medication

Stock medication often proves to be the best option for the majority of hospitals. In most circumstances, ordering stock medication will reduce waste, cost and required storage space. There are many advantages to using stock medication which include:

  • Complex drug regimens are easier to manage e.g. detox
  • Reduced waste and therefore, reduced costs
  • Reduced amount of the same product, particularly PRN drugs
  • Easier to manage stock control
  • Easier to facilitate audit trail paperwork
  • Stock is not duplicated
  • Approximately half the space will be required in drug cupboards
  • The organisation of stock is easier and more logical
  • It is much easier to manage drug changes when using stock
  • Keeping a sensible range of stock enables prompt treatment
  • Orders do not have to be signed by a Doctor (unless a Controlled Drug)
  • Stock can be kept if a patient is discontinued, unlike Named Patient supplies
  • Easy to keep an out-of-hours drug cupboard

Named Patient supplies

While using stock medication brings many benefits, in some circumstances it is more appropriate or even a requirement to use Named Patient medication.

Named Patient supplies are more appropriate for creams, ointments, and inhalers etc. as they are more likely to get contaminated after use. Named Patient supplies can also be beneficial because:

  • They can be useful in self-medicating patients
  • There’s no Home Office Licence required for CDs
  • They can reduce some medication errors

It is important to understand what these circumstances are and make the best use of stock medication wherever possible, as Named Patient orders can be more time consuming, which can delay delivery. These delays can be caused by numerous parts of the ordering and supply process, but they include the requirement of a doctor’s signature; dealing with unclear handwriting, which leads to problems in identifying the drug name; clinical queries around the dose and frequency of administration; confirming the correct quantity, which may be unclear; and any missing details, particularly around the special requirements for Controlled Drugs.

Named Patient supplies also create unnecessary wastage, especially if the medication regimen changes, because dispensed medication cannot be used for other patients and, therefore, has to be disposed of.

Wholesale Dealer’s License

When using stock medication, however, it is important to be aware that it is a legal requirement for any pharmacy provider of stock medication to hold a Wholesale Dealer’s Licence from the MHRA. Often a separate Home Office Licence is also required in order to supply Controlled Drugs as stock.

These licenses are intended to protect the supply chain from counterfeit or substandard products and are inspected regularly. Purchasing stock medication from a licensed supplier ensures your compliance with regulations and the safety of your patients.

Without the Wholesale Dealer’s Licence, premises cannot legally supply prescription medication as stock. This puts your hospital at risk if you buy products from an unlicensed supplier.

Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services is a registered pharmacy and holds an MHRA Wholesale Dealer’s Licence (UK WDA(H) 28408) and a Home Office Controlled Drugs Licence.

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