The General Medical Council (GMC) has published new guidance for all doctors on prescribing and managing medicines. The guidance strengthens and broadens previous advice, and now also includes medical devices.
Key themes include:
- prescribing unlicensed medicines and information for patients about these medicines
- responsibility for prescribing, including repeat prescribing, and prescribing on a colleague’s recommendation or when a patient’s care is shared (for example, between specialists and GPs)
- making prescribing decisions based on adequate knowledge of the patient’s health and when the medicines serve the patient’s needs, not on demand or for the convenience of those treating or caring for the patient
- promoting patient safety by keeping up to date and reporting adverse drug reactions and incidents involving medical devices
- remote prescribing via phone, video-link or online (including prescribing Botox and other injectable cosmetics).
The new guidance came into effect on 25 February 2013.