February 2021 Drug Tariff Changes

Advance Notice of the February 2021 Drug Tariff Changes
Written by Alastair Carmichael – Pharmacist and Dispensing Doctor Expert

Every month the Drug Tariff contains an “Advance Notice” section in the Preface. This is designed to give dispensing contractors notice of changes to the Drug Tariff for the following month. This gives the dispensing contractor time to adjust their stock levels accordingly. For example, if a product is being deleted from the Drug Tariff, then it is wise to run down stock of that item as all prescriptions written generically once an item has been removed, will need to have manufacturer, brand name or supplier listed in the main order part of the prescription or will be sent back for further information.

As is usually the case, February looks to be a quiet month for any financial movements in the Drug Tariff.


There are a few products added into the generic descriptions, but it is strange that a number of these are “self-care” medicines that NHS has been encouraging patients to buy as Over the Counter [OTC] products rather than being prescribed. Clearly the decision to add these reinforces the issue, that if an item is listed in the Drug Tariff it can be prescribed and thus dispensed on an NHS prescription, even if your local CCG has directed contractors not to!


Guaifenesin 100mg/5ml oral soln SF 100ml & 250ml – Robitussin Chesty Cough!

Paracetamol 120mg/5ml oral susp SF 5ml sachets 12 & 20 packs – Calpol Infant

Xylometazoline 70mcg/dose / Ipratropium bromide 84mcg/dose nasal spray – Otrivine Extra Dual Relief

Chlorhexidine hydrochloride 0.5% cream 30g – Germolene Wound Care


The following brands are listed in Part XVIIIA and therefore if the prescription is written by brand name, will be disallowed for payment, so please ensure you are prescribing with the correct Drug Tariff approved name for paracetamol oral suspension:

Calpol Extra Tablets

Calpol Infant Suspension

Calpol Six Plus Suspension

Calpol Tablets

The following brands are also listed in Part XVIIIA so be careful when prescribing Xylometazoline 70mcg/dose / Ipratropium bromide 84mcg/dose nasal spray:

Otrivine Nasal Drops 0.05%

Otrivine Nasal Drops 0.1%

Otrivine Nasal Spray 0.1%

Otrivine-Antistin Nasal Drops

Otrivine-Antistin Nasal Spray

Final warning – Germolene Ointment is listed in Part XVIIIA.

Other additions include:

Trazodone 50mg and 100mg Tablets in 84 & 56 packs. The reimbursement price should be based on Accord NHS List price for these items – dispensary managers need to check the cost and profitability profile of these against that of the normally dispensed capsules.

For a full list of the Drug Tariff additions for February 2021 click here


Nothing much of interest here, obsolete versions of Hepatitis B and Pneumococcal vials have been removed as has Ranitidine 75mg tabs pack of 48 – was Zantac 75 – which has now been discontinued.

Other Changes:

One thing of watch out for is that Ciprofloxacin 0.3% / Dexamethasone 0.1% ear drops – was based on Cilodex but now will be based on the Consilient price from February 1st 2021.