Nonmedical prescribing: where are we now?

Louise Cope, Aseel Abuzour, Mary Tully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)
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Nonmedical prescribing has been allowed in the United Kingdom (UK) since 1992. Its development over the past 24 years has been marked by changes in legislation, enabling the progression towards independent prescribing for nurses, pharmacists and a range of allied health professionals. Although the UK has led the way regarding the introduction of nonmedical prescribing, it is now seen in a number of other Western-European and Anglophone countries although the models of application vary widely between countries. The programme of study to become a nonmedical prescriber (NMP) within the UK is rigorous, and involves a combination of taught curricula and practice-based learning. Prescribing is a complex skill that is high risk and error prone, with many influencing factors. Literature reports regarding the impact of nonmedical prescribing are sparse, with the majority of prescribing research tending to focus instead on prescribing by doctors. The impact of nonmedical prescribing however is important to evaluate, and can be carried out from several perspectives. This review takes a brief look back at the history of nonmedical prescribing, and compares this with the international situation. It also describes the processes required to qualify as a NMP in the UK, potential influences on nonmedical prescribing and the impact of nonmedical prescribing on patient opinions and outcomes and the opinions of doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Drug Safety
Issue number4
Early online date4 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • nonmedical prescribing
  • training programme
  • history
  • impact
  • influences


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