The prime minister has been called on to introduce parity between nurses and pharmacists in the prescribing of controlled drugs to benefit patients and their carers and the wider primary care team.
According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB), there is a discrepancy between the ability of nurses to prescribe controlled drugs in certain conditions as independent prescribers while pharmacist independent prescribers cannot prescribe the drugs.
The RPSGB says this is occurring even when the medicines in question are controlled drugs which pharmacists can sell as ingredients in over the counter medicines.
In evidence given to the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery, the society said that patients are disadvantaged by the current disparity and a change in the relevant legislation is necessary.
It has also called for both nurse and pharmacist independent prescribers to be able to prescribe an unrestricted range of controlled drugs for patients in their care.
Howard Duff, the RPSGB Director for England, said: ‘Pharmacists are experts in medicines and are a recognised resource for health care professionals and patients.
‘Allowing pharmacist independent prescribers the ability to prescribe controlled drugs will expand access to important medicines which improve quality of life by helping manage chronic conditions.’