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New guidance on Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices (2013)

31 January 2013

Our new guidance on Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices (2013) is published today.

The guidance will come into effect on 25 February 2013 and will replace the previous edition from 2008.

The guidance explains how the principles in Good Medical Practice (2006), the GMC’s core guidance for doctors, apply to decisions about prescribing and managing medicines and medical devices. It covers issues including:

  • responsibility for prescribing, including repeat prescribing, and prescribing at the recommendation of a colleague or where 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
  • prescribing unlicensed medicines and information for patients about such medicines
  • promoting patient safety by keeping up to date and reporting adverse drug reactions and medical device adverse incidents

The guidance also includes the statement on remote prescribing via telephone, video-link or online, which was published in July 2012.

You can read the prescribing guidance online or download a PDF version (pdf).