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Pharmacist Prescribing Standards 2013

New Standards for pharmacist prescribers have been issued by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland today.It replaces the previous edition published in 2009 and follows a public consultation held in December 2012.

The revised Standards and Guidance provides more detailed information in relation to specific areas of practice and is also compliant with legislative changes in the UK and Northern Ireland.

Under the new guidance, mixing of medicines must only be undertaken when clinically appropriate and essential to meet the needs of the patient, rather than for the convenience of a health professional.

Pharmacist prescribers are also reminded that they must report any actual and potential adverse drug reactions and must only prescribe for a patient when they have relevant knowledge of the patient’s health, medical history and of medicines required for treating their condition.

All pharmacists who prescribe privately must also follow the standards and guidance outlined in this document and should only prescribe within their sphere of competency.

Commenting on the revised Standards and Guidance, President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI, Jacqui Dougan said;

‘I would like to thank those who contributed to the review of the Standards and Guidance in 2012 and all those who took part in the consultation and provided valuable feedback.

‘Pharmacists will have a key role to play in delivering Transforming your Care and pharmacist prescribing introduces opportunities to make better use of the skills and expertise of pharmacists, increases patient choice in accessing medicines, and contribute to the introduction of more flexible team working across the health service.’

Registrar Brendan Kerr added;

‘These Standards and Guidance should provide assurance to other health professionals and patients that pharmacist prescribers must comply with these standards, in order to be able to prescribe safely and effectively.

‘To ensure compliance and good practice, it is imperative that all pharmacist prescribers in Northern Ireland refer to this document.’




For further information please contact Mark Neale at the Pharmaceutical Society NI on

028 9026 7933 or





Notes to editors


1. The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is the regulatory body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland. Our primary purpose is to ensure practicing pharmacists in Northern Ireland are fit to practise, keep their skills and knowledge up to date and deliver high quality safe care to patients.

2. The Standards and Guidance for Pharmacist Prescribers 2013 replaces the previous edition published in 2009 and follows a public consultation which closed on 18 December 2013.

3. Standards and Guidance for Pharmacist Prescribers is available on the Pharmaceutical Society NI website

4. Pharmacists gained the right to achieve supplementary prescribing status in 2003 and independent prescribing status in 2006.

5. Changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 now allows pharmacists, who have successfully completed a pharmacist independent prescribing course and accredited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, to prescribe, administer and direct others to administer any controlled drugs in Schedule 2, 3, 4 and 5 for any medical condition – with the exception of cocaine, dipipanone and diamorphine for the treatment of addiction.