Non-tariff specials endorsing

Q: How do I endorse a prescription for a non-tariff Special?

A: A special is defined in the Drug Tariff as an unlicensed medicinal product that is manufactured in the UK for human use and has been specially prepared to meet a prescription ordered for an individual patient.

For a full discussion of the issues associated with procurement and supply of unlicensed medicines please see our Pharmacy Excellence module: Specials and Unlicensed Medicines.

Prescriptions for specials that are not listed in the Drug Tariff are endorsed as follows:

England and Wales 


Where a product has been sourced under a Manufacturer’s Specials or Importer’s licence issued by the MHRA and is not listed in Part VIIIB of the Drug Tariff, contractors should endorse:

  • Net invoice price.
  • Pack size used to dispense from.
  • Manufacturers’/importers’ MHRA licence number.
  • Batch number of the product supplied.
  • SP (£20 per prescription, for costs incurred in obtaining the item).


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 Specials endorsing guide EW

Scotland Scotland

When supplying a product outside of Part 7S that is being sourced from a specials manufacturer, the contractor must first seek reimbursement authorisation from their Health Board. Prescriptions should be endorsed with:

  • SP, followed by the NHS net cost price for the quantity dispensed, excluding VAT, in format ‘££pp’.
  • Additional handling or postage and packing charges can be claimed as Out of Pocket Expenses by endorsing XP, followed by cost in ‘££pp’ and the reason: ‘pp’ for [Postage & Packing], ‘hc’ for a [Handling Charge] and ‘xp’ for any other reason.
  • The prescription should then be sent to PSD with the invoice.


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Specials endorsing guide SC

Northern Ireland


As yet there is no specials tariff in Northern Ireland. Reimbursement remains based on the price of the product as endorsed by the contractor. The prescription should be endorsed with:

  • Name of the supplier.
  • Net Price of product.
  • Any out of pocket expenses, e.g. delivery.
  • As there is no specific product code number for unlicensed specials, a single diamond should be written in the ‘code number’ column.
  • Pharmacy contractors should ensure the unique 11 digit code found at the bottom of each prescription is written on the corresponding invoice, before sending to the BSO.


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 Specials endorsing guide NI

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