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Fewer than half of pharmacists issue warning cards for patients using valproate

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It is a requirement that patient cards detailing information on the risks are issued every time valproate is dispensed, under Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guidance.

Only 40% of pharmacists are meeting a patient safety requirement when dispensing valproate to women, an audit carried out by the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has found.

The drug can cause birth defects in women who take it when pregnant.

In April 2018, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that valproate must not be used by women and girls of childbearing age unless a pregnancy prevention programme (PPP) is in place.

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), said pharmacies must do more to ensure the safe dispensing of valproate.

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Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal

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