The General Medical Council has updated its prescribing guidance for doctors, in Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices (2013).
Some of the information is relevant for non-medical prescribers:
- The guidance sets out the information sources that doctors should use to improve prescribing safety: the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Drug Safety Update; the the National Prescribing Centre, now part of NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre and the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC). It also sets out the sources of clinical guidelines that doctors should take account of. See here and here for ways in which medicines information is changing (Bill please add links to articles 3 and 4 for “here” and “here”)
- It includes the updated GMC stance on remote prescribing of Botox and other injectable cosmetic products. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) advice is here.
- A section on raising concerns, very interesting in the light of recent news saying, “You must protect patients from risks of harm posed by colleagues’ prescribing, administration and other medicines-related errors. You should question any decision or action that you consider might be unsafe. You should also respond constructively to concerns raised by colleagues, patients and carers about your own practice.”
- The section on unlicensed medicines says that some medicines are routinely used outside their licenses, and that in some situations, “it may not be practical or necessary to draw attention to the licence” – for example in emergencies or if realistically there is no alternative and the information is likely to be distressing. The NMC circular on nurse and midwife prescribing of unlicensed medicines from 2010 says that one of the conditions for prescribing is that, “The patient or client agrees to the prescription in the knowledge that the medicine is unlicensed and understands the implications of this.” The GMC points out two useful sources, if explaining about unlicensed medicines: the Medicines for Children leaflets including one on unlicensed medicines; and a British Pain Society leaflet on using medicines beyond their license.
- A section on sports medicine that deals with performance enhancement.