ADF Prescription Pads For All – Not A Smart Idea – 9 February 2011

“Contrary to popular opinion, prescribing is not just a matter of writing a prescription. It involves an accurate diagnosis of a patient’s condition and a comprehensive knowledge of pharmacology. As patients live longer with multiple conditions, prescribing becomes even more complex.”

“It’s a case of too many cooks can spoil the broth and in this case the broth is a patient’s wellbeing.”

“Fanciful ideas of running mini courses in prescribing and pharmaceutical competency should be ignored by anyone interested in patient safety,” Dr Rudd said.

A/Prof Dr Amanda McBride said parliamentarians who, through political pressure, are determined to give everyone who knocks on their door, calling themselves a “clinician” a prescribing pad, should be held accountable for the results. There will be polypharmacy problems, with general practitioners not being aware who has prescribed what medication for what condition when. Patients do not always know why they are taking medication, and may not always understand or explain what else they have been taking.

The public comments of the President of the Pharmacy Guild, Mr Kos Sclavos that “the Federal Government plan to give nurse prescribers and midwives prescribing powers was politically motivated” should ring alarm bells.

Dr McBride said the legal liability issues surrounding multiple prescribers had not been clearly stated to the medical profession or patients.

“Clearly doctors will always try and look after their patients but it is unfair to expect them to accept problems associated with prescribers over who they have no control”.

Restrictions in prescribing, although sometimes appearing to be inconvenient, were designed for patient safety reasons.

“Political motivation should never be grounds for granting clinical privileges”, Dr McBride said.