Views of pharmacist prescribers, doctors and patients on pharmacist prescribing implementation


Senior Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland AB10 1FR, UK. E-mail:


Aim The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of pharmacist supplementary prescribers, their linked independent prescribers and patients, across a range of settings, in Scotland, towards pharmacist prescribing.

Method Telephone interviews were conducted with nine pharmacist prescribers, eight linked independent prescribers (doctors) and 18 patients. The setting was primary and secondary care settings in six NHS Health Board areas in Scotland.

Key findings In general, all stakeholders were supportive of pharmacists as supplementary prescribers, identifying benefits for patients and the wider health care team. Although patients raised no concerns, they had little idea of what to expect on their first visit, leading initially to feelings of apprehension. Pharmacists and doctors voiced concerns around a potential lack of continued funding, inadequate support networks and continuing professional development. Pharmacists were keen to undertake independent prescribing, although doctors were less supportive, citing issues around inadequate clinical examination skills.

Conclusions Pharmacists, doctors and patients were all supportive of developments in pharmacist supplementary prescribing, although doctors raised concerns around independent prescribing by pharmacists. The ability of pharmacists to demonstrate competence, to be aware of levels of competence and to identify learning needs requires further exploration.