In response to a significant ongoing disruption to the supply of Creon® 10000 gastro-resistant capsules, a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) has been issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Effective today 24th May 2024,  SSP060 provides that where supplies are available, but the prescription is for more than one month’s supply the total quantity supplied under this protocol is to be equivalent to one months’ supply of Creon® 10000 gastro-resistant capsules

SSP060, authorised by the Secretary of State, has been developed by clinicians and provides pharmacists with procedures to follow in providing no more than a months supply. The SSP may be amended or revoked at any time but currently expires on Friday 22 November 2024 – we will update pharmacy owners on any changes.

Key points relating to SSP060

This protocol provides for a reduced quantity of Creon® 10000 gastro-resistant capsules to be supplied for less than the number of days prescribed on original prescription.
For supply in accordance with SSP060, no prescription charges will be applicable for Creon® 10000 gastro-resistant capsules.
For endorsing requirements please refer to NHSBSA’s supporting guidance for SSP060.

Pharmacy owners will receive an email to their shared NHSmail account informing them of this SSP and pharmacy teams are advised to read the documentation for SSP060 in full and to implement the protocol with immediate effect. Pharmacists are required to read and comply with the requirements outlined within the individual SSP as published on the NHSBSA website for SSP060 Creon® 10000 gastro-resistant capsules


Reimbursement is for the medicine supplied in accordance with the SSP and not the quantity of originally prescribed medicine i.e. in this instance pharmacy owners will be reimbursed the reimbursement price for the quantity of Creon® 10000 gastro-resistant capsules dispensed. Supply in accordance with the SSP will result in the following fees being paid to the pharmacy owner and products supplied in accordance with an SSP is to be considered VAT zero-rated:

One Single Activity fee (currently £1.27)
One SSP fee (£5.35)

Endorsing SSP claims correctly

Community Pharmacy England previously reported that the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) received a number of EPS SSP claims which did not meet the requirements for a valid SSP claim. A large number SSP claims continue to be deemed invalid by the NHSBSA due to incorrect endorsements applied by PMR systems and/or pharmacy staff. We recommend pharmacy owners to regularly reconcile the value of SSP fees on their payment schedules against the number of SSPs declared on the FP34C submission form. Please refer to our new guidance on reconciliation of SSP claims.

If there is a payment discrepancy and it is believed that the correct SSP endorsing guidance was followed, pharmacy owners may consider requesting a re-check of relevant prescriptions and the NHSBSA will be able to explain why the claim was unpaid or rectify the payments.

Pharmacy teams are reminded to follow the SSP-specific guidance to ensure endorsements are applied correctly, and we also have guidance supporting teams raising PMR-specific claiming issues with their suppliersClick here for more Top Tips on claiming for SSPs. 

Support in implementing the SSP

The following resources have been developed to support pharmacy teams in using these protocols.

Current versions of SSPs

Serious Shortage Protocols Operational Guidance

Serious Shortage Protocols Questions & Answers

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) Endorsing Factsheet

Briefing 023/19: Serious Shortage Protocols – A guide for community pharmacy teams

Background information on SSPs

Further information on what SSPs are and when they may be used is available via the links below.

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) on-demand webinar

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) webpage

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