Private prescriptions are medication which your private Doctor has recommended for you. A private prescription is not written on an official NHS prescription and so is not paid for by the NHS. The cost of a private prescription is met wholly by the patient and is dictated by the cost of the medicine plus the pharmacists charge for supplying it.
A prescription is a legal document for which the doctor, who has issued and signed it, is responsible for. A doctor you see privately can’t issue an NHS prescription. Therefore, a NHS doctor cannot always directly convert a private prescription to an NHS prescription.
The GP has to consider various factors including whether the prescribing of the medicaiton is within their level of competence. There are a number of circumstances when GPs will decline the private request or offer to prescribe an alternative medicine. He or she may decline to prescribe if:
- A letter explaining the full rationale for the treatment has not been provided by the consultant in the private sector.
- He or she feels the medicine is not clinically necessary.
- The medication is unlicensed.
- The medication is prescribed outside of its licensed indication.
- The medication is not one he or she would normally prescribe.
- The medication needs special monitoring and he or she feels they do not have the expertise to do this.
- The use of the medication conflicts with NICE guidance or locally agreed protocols.
- An equivalent but equally effective medicine is prescribed locally under prescribing advice from the CCG. In this situation you will be offered the equivalent medicine.
A GP in the surgery at which you are registered can only provide a private prescription if the drug is not available on the NHS.