GPhC consults on draft guidance for pharmacist prescribers

The GPhC is seeking views on proposed guidance for pharmacist prescribers to make sure they provide safe and effective care when prescribing.

The guidance sets out nine key areas that relate to the provision of safe and effective prescribing. Pharmacist prescribers should consider the first eight areas when prescribing, to ensure safe and effective care. These are:

  1.  taking responsibility for prescribing safely
  2. keeping up to date and prescribing within your level of competence
  3. working in partnership with other healthcare professionals and people seeking care
  4. prescribing in certain circumstances
  5. prescribing non-surgical cosmetic medicinal products
  6. remote prescribing
  7. safeguards for the remote prescribing of certain medicines
  8. raising concerns

Section 9 deals with information for pharmacy owners and employers of pharmacist prescribers.

The consultation asks for views on a range of areas including:

  • what pharmacist prescribers must do to make sure they can prescribe safely for a person
  • the circumstances in which a pharmacist prescriber can both prescribe and dispense
  • any additional safeguards that should be put in place for remote prescribing of certain medicines

We have carried out research over the past three years, and from this and information received through our prescribers’ survey (2016), the enquiries received, Fitness to Practise cases, our discussion paper and consultations we have better understood the issues affecting patient safety. This includes the question of pharmacist prescribers having access to relevant medical records; the development of remote and or online prescribing; and prescribing certain categories of medicine. We have also taken account of other prescriber guidance including that of the GMC and the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practice. Last year the GPhC published new standards for the initial education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers.

The consultation is open for 12 weeks from 29 March to 21 June 2019.

At the launch of the consultation Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive said:

“We know that pharmacist independent prescribers are already playing a vital role in delivering high-quality patient-centred care across a wide range of settings and these important roles are continuing to be recognised by Governments throughout Great Britain. We are consulting on this guidance at a time when we are seeing rapid growth in the number of pharmacist prescribers. Since 2016 the number of independent prescribers on our register has gone up by over 4,000 which is more than double.

“As pharmacist independent prescribing roles are further developed in the health and social care system, we want to hear from the sector about our proposed guidance to make sure pharmacist prescribers understand what is expected of them when prescribing and provide safe and effective care.

“We believe this guidance will also be helpful for organisations who employ pharmacist prescribers or provide pharmacy prescribing services across a range of settings. We welcome responses from anyone with an interest in pharmacist prescribing. We are particularly interested to hear views about the impact of our proposals on patients and the public, pharmacist prescribers, pharmacy professionals, pharmacy owners and employers.”