Independent prescribing

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Chapter: Hospital pharmacy : Pharmacist prescribing

A pharmacist independent prescriber can prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition.

Independent prescribing


Since May 2006, after an amendment to the Prescription Only Medicines (Human Use) Order 1997, pharmacists have been able to train as independent prescribers. Once qualified and the appropriate addition to the register made, they are able to prescribe from the entire British National Formulary. Text box 10.3 sets out the range of medicines at the time of writing. Independent prescribing allows pharmacists greater autonomy; they can assess and manage patients and their medicines regi-men within their specified area of competence. The advantage of this type of prescribing is that a pharmacist assessing a patient for a long-term condition is also able to diagnose and treat or refer for treatment a newly presenting complaint. Whilst working as an independent prescriber the pharmacist may choose to prescribe under a supplementary prescribing arrangement, moving between the two practices, as required, to meet the patient need.


Box 10.3 Medicines available to a pharmacist independent prescriber


A pharmacist independent prescriber can prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition, including:

• UK-licensed products used outside their UK-licensed indications (i.e. ‘off-label’ use) (pharmacist prescribers, like all prescribers, must accept professional, clinical and legal responsibility for that prescribing and should only prescribe ‘off-label’ where it is accepted clinical practice)

• unlicensed drugs

At the time of writing, controlled drug prescribing is under review.


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