News and updates from

Selected items from the News and Latest Additions sections of, the world’s leading palliative care website with over 30,000 members from 169 Countries.

Hot topics

Controlled drug requisition requirements and instalment prescribing

From 30 November 2015, an approved form is now mandatory when requisitioning Schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs in the community (note hospices and prisons are exempt). For England there is a new approved requisition form in electronic format that is available on the NHS Business Services Authority website.

In addition, a new set of approved wording for instalment prescribing of controlled drugs has been introduced. For more information, click here.


Consultation on the prescribing of Specials

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), at the request of NICE, are updating the 2012 NPC and NICE guidance for the prescribers of Specials and have produced draft guidance for consultation. The document can be downloaded from the RPS website, or from here. Comments from individuals and organisations are requested by 14 December 2015.


Cochrane review: Oral tapentadol for cancer pain

A new Cochrane review on oral tapentadol for cancer pain (CD011460) has been published in full on-line. The authors’ concluded that there was little evidence to suggest that tapentadol should be considered above other opioids for the treatment of cancer-related pain in terms of benefits or harms, and that current policies on the use of opioids, particularly morphine, do not need to be amended.


New look BNF and BNFC launched

The BNF and BNF for children (BNFC) have undergone several changes to their structure and layout. The new format was published in print in September and launched on-line in November 2015. The previous old style versions (renamed BNF Legacy and BNFC Legacy) are available on-line alongside the new formats on for an interim period.

Following a number of discussions and e-mail threads on various forums discussing the identification of dose errors and changes in presentation, the BNF, UKMI and NPPG (Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacist Group) have put together a joint statement to clarify some of the issues raised. This can be downloaded from here. In addition there is a new section on the BNF website which contains clarifications and corrections.

Drug updates

Ketamine and S-Ketamine now Schedule 2 controlled drugs

From 30 November 2015 ketamine (and also S-ketamine) will be classified as Schedule 2 controlled drugs (previously Schedule 4; part 1). This follows the legislation changes approved by Parliament for England, Scotland and Wales earlier this year (see our news item).


FDA approves naloxone nasal spray

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a naloxone nasal spray (Narcan; Adapt Pharma) to treat opioid overdose. The US Product Information can be downloaded from here. For more information, click here. It is expected to be commercially available in the US early 2016.

Latest additions

PCF updated monographs summary (November 2015)

The on-line Palliative Care Formulary is being continually updated. The following monographs have been updated during November 2015 and supersede those in the print publication of the 5th edition of the Palliative Care Formulary (PCF5) and PCF5+ 2015 pdf. They can be accessed from the formulary section of the website.

Note there were no changes to the on-line PCF during September or October 2015.

November 2015

Chapter 04: Levomepromazine (minor change), Anti-emetics (minor change)

Chapter 06: Rifampicin (new)

Chapter 14: Guidance about prescribing in palliative care (correction)

Chapter 24: Prolongation of the QT interval in palliative care (minor change)


For further details of minor changes or corrections, see the individual notifications in the Latest additions section of

For a full list of all the monographs updated since the print publication of PCF5, click here. Follow us on twitter @palliativedrugs for the latest updates.

PCF5 reprint changes

We would like to thank members for their support which has seen the first print run of PCF5 sell out. In preparing for the second print run, we have identified a few essential changes that unfortunately inevitably occur with the production of such a comprehensive resource and have made corrections to the text. The changes can be downloaded from here. We recommend that you amend your first print run copy and PCF5 2014 pdf accordingly.
All necessary changes, where applicable, have been made on the website and in PCF5+ 2015 pdf.
Note the website always contains the most up to date content.

We endeavour to achieve the highest levels of accuracy in the text and are always grateful for your feedback (


Prepared by Sarah Charlesworth and Andrew Wilcock

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