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About Specials

The costs to the NHS of Specials may vary widely and in recent years the volume and costs of specials has risen.

Specials are special-order unlicensed medicines made to meet the needs of an individual patient.  Unlicensed medicines may be prescribed in clinical situations where it is judged that, on the basis of available evidence, unlicensed use is in the best interest of the patient.  As with any medicine, prescription of unlicensed medicines is the responsibility of the prescriber.

Local Resources

A-Z of possible alternatives to using a special

Guidelines for good practice

Patient Information

Use of unlicensed medicines

Understanding why your GP has decided not to prescribe an unlicensed medicine

BAPEN Tube feeding & your medicines

National Publications

British Association of Dermatologists - preferred unlicensed dermatological preparations ('specials)

BAPEN - Practical guide to administering drugs via enteral feeding tubes

BAPEN - administering drugs via enteral feeding tubes: a guide for General Practitioners and Community Pharmacists

Ophthalmic special order products - Guidance by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Royal Pharmaceutical Society - Specials

SPS - Medicines that require extra care when switching between liquid and tablet capsule formulations