General principles of prescribing

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Chapter: Hospital pharmacy : Pharmacist prescribing

The actions of the pharmacist prescriber, both supplementary and independent, are governed by the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB)) and they must work within their area of competence.


General principles of prescribing

 

The actions of the pharmacist prescriber, both supplementary and independent, are governed by the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB)) and they must work within their area of competence. The RPSGB has also produced Professional Standards and Guidance for Pharmacist Prescribers. This guidance states that the consultation that leads to a prescribing decision must include some fundamental elements:

 

·      the prescriber must explain his or her role to the patient/carer

 

·      he or she must obtain the patient’s consent to prescribe – this is usually done verbally

 

·      the decision to prescribe must be a shared decision with the patient

 

·      the prescribing decision must be recorded within the patient’s record

 

·      wherever possible, the prescribing decision should be evidence-based and in accordance with national or local guidelines; deviation can occur if it is recorded and explained but must be in the patient’s best interest.

 

An area of concern for many pharmacists is the dispensing of prescriptions they themselves have written. The RPSGB professional standards discourage this practice unless in an emergency situation.

 

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