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Healthcare Professionals


The British Association of Dermatologists' updated list of preferred unlicensed dermatological preparations ('Specials') is now available for download. This update was produced by the BAD Specials Working Group, including representatives of various professional bodies, with aims of streamlining and rationalising the list.

To download the Specials list please click the booklet picture to the right, or the text link above.

NEW Presentation on specials

BAD Specials Working Group member Dr Richard Logan has kindly shared his slides on specials, presented at the Essential Medical Dermatology event in March 2017.

NEW Template letter to accompany specials prescription

In an effort to empower dermatology patients and improve access to their treatment, the Specials Working Group has prepared a template letter which BAD members could give to their patients when they prescribe a special. It also provides a list of NHS specials manufacturers (reproduced with kind permission by the British National Formulary) and other relevant online links. Additionally, the letter will inform and give the patient the possibility of contacting NHS Complaints and/or their MPs, if access to their special is denied. 

Abstract (from the 2014 publication)

Most prescribing uses licensed medicines whose safety and efficacy are assured. For many common dermatological diseases including psoriasis and eczema, the range of licensed medicines is limited. As a result, Dermatology prescribing may rely significantly on unlicensed creams and ointments (known as ‘Specials’) containing tars, dithranol, salicylic acid, steroids and other active constituents in a range of concentrations and bases. This is of particular concern in primary care where lack of effective price controls and a mechanism to ensure independent scrutiny of product quality has increased costs and concern about standards. To address these concerns and help to optimise quality of care, adherence to the revised British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) list of preferred Specials (2014) is encouraged.

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