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.
Specials and expensive liquids guideline
Understanding why your GP has decided not to prescribe an unlicensed medicine
British Association of Dermatologists - preferred unlicensed dermatological preparations ('specials)
BAPEN Administering medicines via enteral feeding tubes
Ophthalmic special order products - Guidance by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists
SPS - Medicines that require extra care when switching between liquid and tablet capsule formulations