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Changes in controlled drug legislation for temazepam and electronic prescribing system (EPS)

From 1st June 2015

The current prescription writing exemption applicable to temazepam prescriptions will cease and therefore all temazepam prescriptions will be required to meet full prescription writing requirements as for any other Schedule 2 or 3 controlled drugs.

Prescription requirements:

  • The quantity prescribed must be written in words and figures, e.g. 28 (twenty eight)
  • The quantity should not exceed 30 days’ supply, unless in exceptional circumstances (as with all other controlled drugs).
  • The prescription must clearly state the form (e.g. tablets, capsules), strength and dose. The dose must be as specific as possible; ‘Take one as directed’ is acceptable however ‘Take as directed’ is not.
  • Any instalment directions (on an FP10MDA prescription) must include the amount to be supplied and the interval to be observed between supplies, e.g. Supply 7 tablets every Monday

We understand that the necessary changes to practice computer systems will be made remotely by the system suppliers. We are also seeking details with respect to how pharmacies will be advised to process any temazepam prescriptions written in advance of 1st June 2015 (any relevant further information will follow).

Further information can be obtained from the following link:

From 1st July 2015

Although the regulations will be amended to permit the electronic prescribing of Schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs where Electronic Prescribing System (EPS) is used, the current EPS message format cannot support the inclusion of words and figures and this will therefore require a change to the EPS specification. Once this work is completed, prescribing and dispensing system suppliers will be able to make the necessary technical adjustments to their software to enable electronic transfer of Schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs. Further updates will follow in due course.