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Medicines & Medical Devices Committee

Medicines & Medical Devices Committee (MMDC)

Welcome to the ‘Medicines’ section of the College of Podiatrists website

The ‘Medicines’ section is designed as a resource for members who have queries or need information on medicines. It addresses the key areas of legislative rights, regulatory requirements, professional guidance and common membership queries. By way of an introduction, it also provides some details about the Society and College’s Medicines & Medical Devices Committee (MMDC); who serves on the Committee and its current terms of reference.

Use of medicines is an essential and central part of the therapeutic role of the podiatrist, and it is the responsibility of the MMDC to help ensure, as far as possible, that podiatrists have legal access to those medicines necessary for the delivery of effective care in a contemporary context.

As a result, the MMDC works closely with external agencies to achieve this aim, including the Department of Health (DH), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and the National Prescribing Centre (NPC), amongst others.

Wherever possible, the information contained on the website is kept up-to-date and contemporaneous.  However, ‘medicines’ is a field marked by rapid change, with new and ongoing developments, and it is likely that from time to time documents will require updating or revising.  Whilst it is acknowledged that it may be difficult to ensure new changes are updated on the website immediately, the MMDC will make every effort to ensure the materials on this section of the website are relevant and contemporaneous.

If further advice is required, this may be forwarded directly to the MMDC via the Society secretariat.

The Medicines section of the website has some key areas:  Legal and legislative issues, Guidance for members (including the use of the ‘signer order provision’), and some common questions and answers.  There is also an area for relevant published articles addressing matters involving medicines in practice.  

All queries can be addressed to James Coughtrey  

Supply of Medicines

The Commission on Human Medicines has recommended that the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists ensures there is a consistent approach to the supply (without prescription) of medicines containing codeine and di-hydrocodeine for the treatment of acute / moderate pain.

In 2009, the Medicines and Healthcare products Agency introduced new restrictions on the sale of these medicines because of concerns about the risk of addiction from deliberate or inadvertent overuse. These included restricting the pack size and strengthening warnings on the label and on patient leaflets about the risks of addiction. The Agency has, therefore, sought assurances from the College of Podiatrists that, where relevant, our professional practice guidance will reflect these restrictions.

The following guidance issued by the College of Podiatrists should be taken into consideration:

  • Limiting the use of such analgesic provision to the short term treatment of acute / moderate pain which is not relieved by paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin alone

  • Limiting length of supply of analgesia, before a direct review of the patient, to 3 days only

  • Strengthening warnings about addiction on label and leaflets. 

With this in mind, the MMDC, College of Podiatrists, strongly recommends that the supply, sale or use of signed order provision for analgesics of this type be limited to a maximum of 3 days’ supply. The supply may, due to pack size, exceed this but it is recommended that review after this period of time is considered essential.

The Medicines & Medical Devices Committee, 2011