Guidance for pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) produced by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will have a “positive impact” on the profession, pharmacy organisations have said.
However, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said the regulator needs to be clearer about where the guidance sits and when a PIP should use it.
The GPhC ran a 12-week consultation from March 2019 to gather views on new guidance for PIPs, the aim of which was to help PIPs understand their obligations as prescribers and the importance of prescribing safely.
In its consultation response, the RPS highlighted the variety of guidance already available for prescribers, including Medicine, Ethics and Practice, as well as its own prescribing competency framework.
“We would recommend that the GPhC adopted the RPS prescribing competency framework as their education standard for independent prescribers as other regulators have done,” the RPS wrote.
The Society has also pointed out gaps in the guidance, saying that there was no reference to drug handling or pharmacokinetics, such as the importance of recognising those with kidney or hepatic impairment and the impact of this on a prescribing decision.
It said the guidance’s section on monitoring seemed “a bit vague” and that the document should reference safety netting advice for when a patient’s condition deteriorates or if there is an incorrect diagnosis.
Overall, the RPS’s response said that the impact of the guidance on pharmacist prescribers would be “positive”, but added that the safeguards for the remote prescribing of certain categories of medicines could have a “positive or negative” impact on patients.
“Enforcing patient ID unnecessarily for certain medicines and patient types would restrict access”, it wrote.
In its consultation response, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee said the guidance provided a “robust set of principles and guidance to follow when prescribing”, to “empower pharmacist prescribers to provide the safest and most effective care to patients”.