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Supplementary Prescribing

In April 2002 Lord Hunt announced proposals to allow patients quicker access to medicines by extending the prescribing powers of pharmacists and nurses.
Following discussions with the medical, pharmacy and nursing professions, a consultation paper on 'supplementary' prescribing by pharmacists and nurses was published. Supplementary prescribing for pharmacists and nurses was made possible through changes to regulations in April 2003.  Ministers have subsequently agreed that supplementary prescribing responsibilities may be extended to physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists and chiropodists and optometrists. Work on this will take place during 2004.
The Task Force submitted a response to the supplementary prescribing proposal for pharmacists and nurses, commenting on 4 key areas:
  • Patient involvement
  • Shared Record
  • Access and continuity of care
  • Training in concordance
The document is available to download below.
In addition, in July 2004 Medicines Partnership submitted the following respose the the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Consultation on Proposals for Supplementary Prescribing by Chiropodists, Physiotherapists, Radiographers and Optometrists
 "Medicines Partnership welcomes the proposals to extend supplementary prescribing rights to chiropodists, physiotherapists, radiographers and optometrists.  The increase in the range of healthcare professionals who are able to prescribe can only be helpful to patients, increasing choice. availability and accessibility.
As you will be aware, Medicines Partnership is a Department of Health funded programme which aims to enable patients to get the most from their medicines by involving them as partners in prescribing decisions and supporting them in medicine taking.  We would consider it critical to the successful implementation of these proposals that the courses of training for each profession include the key component of consultation skills for effective partnership working with patients and shared decision making.  Patients should always be involved in the delivery of  these modules. Furthermore, competence in these skills should be a pre-requisite for the successful competion of an approved course of training.  Medicines Partnership would be happy to contribute to the development of such training modules."
More details about supplementary prescriing are available on the Department of Health website.

In June 2005 the Department of Health published research into independent nurse prescribing which found the practice is viewed positively by patients, doctors and nurses themselves. Patients cited accessibility as a major advantage when obtaining their medicine from a nurse rather than a doctor. Click on the title to find out more.

Related Documents
Please click on the attachment to view the full response in Microsoft Word format.