Pharmacist prescribing in the UK – a literature review of current practice and research
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2007
Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Volume 32, Issue 6, pages 545–556, December 2007
How to Cite
Tonna, A. P., Stewart, D., West, B. and McCaig, D. (2007), Pharmacist prescribing in the UK – a literature review of current practice and research. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 32: 545–556. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2007.00867.x
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2007
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2007
- Received 24 August 2007, Accepted 13 September 2007
- pharmacist independent prescribing;
- pharmacist supplementary prescribing;
- United Kingdom
Objective: To review the research literature to date on pharmacist prescribing in the United Kingdom (UK) and to explore the main areas of care and practice settings including any benefits and limitations.
Findings: There are two models of pharmacist prescribing in the UK: pharma\cist supplementary prescribing (SP) introduced in 2003, involving a voluntary partnership between the responsible independent prescriber (a physician or a dentist), the supplementary prescriber and the patient, to implement an agreed patient-specific clinical management plan; and pharmacist independent prescribing (IP) introduced in 2006, responsible for the assessment and consequent management, including prescribing of both undiagnosed and diagnosed conditions. There have been narrative reports of pharmacist SP in different health care settings including primary care, community pharmacies, secondary care and at the primary/secondary care interface; published research within these areas of care is conflicting as to which setting is more suitable for pharmacist prescribing. Initial research reports that almost 50% of pharmacist supplementary prescribers self-reported prescribing with both benefits of and barriers to implementing SP. Research involving other healthcare professionals has indicated that encroachment of traditional roles is likely to occur because of the advent of pharmacist prescribing. A small-scale study has concluded that patients are likely to accept pharmacist prescribing favourably, with another study showing pharmacist prescribing leading to improved adherence to guidelines. There is no published research yet available about practices involving pharmacist IP.
Discussion: Most of the literature focuses on pharmacists’ perceptions of SP, with little information referring to other stakeholders, including patients. There is also limited published research focusing on clinical and economic outcomes of pharmacist SP.
Conclusion: This is a rapidly changing aspect of pharmacy practice in the UK, particularly with the more recent introduction of pharmacist IP. It is likely that this area of research will expand rapidly over the coming years.