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Non-medical prescribing

Abstract

In the UK, the Medicines Act 1968 limited the legal right to prescribe medicines to doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons.1 Nearly 40 years later, non-medical prescribing, the extension of prescribing responsibilities to nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, is a key development in the NHS.2 Within England, from May 2006, certain nurse and pharmacist prescribers can prescribe any licensed medicine (except most controlled drugs) within their sphere of competence.3 Here we discuss the historical context, the different types and the clinical implications of non-medical prescribing.

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