Tariff Tip : Incontinence briefs on prescription

Q. Are incontinence briefs or garments, such as Tena Pants®, allowed on an NHS prescription?

A. No. incontinence products which use the absorption principle, including pads and briefs, are not allowed on prescription. This is clearly stated in clause 3 of Part IXB (Incontinence appliances) of the England and Wales Drug Tariff. To quote:

"3. Prescribers are reminded that incontinence pads (including products not necessarily described as such but using the absorption principle), incontinence garments, skin wipes and occlusive devices such as female vaginal devices and male penile clamps are not prescribable under the Drug Tariff provisions."

The same rule applies in Northern Ireland.

The only exception to this rule is in Scotland where two incontinence bed pads are prescribable on GP10; Robinsons Healthcare and Tena (Molnlycke) disposable bed pads. Note that they are not prescribable by nurses on GP10(N). For all other products (including Tena Pants®) the above rule applies.

Part IXB of the tariff (Part 5 in Scotland) lists incontinence appliances which are allowed, for example catheters, belts, sheaths and leg bags. As with all appliances the product must be listed in the tariff in order to be prescribed.

Pharmacists in England and Wales should note that a home delivery fee of £3.40 is automatically reimbursed for each item dispensed from Part IXB. In addition, out of pocket expenses (OOPE) can be claimed on these items.

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