Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices

You are responsible for the prescriptions that you sign. You must only prescribe drugs when you have adequate knowledge of your patient's health. And you must be satisfied that the drugs serve your patient's need.

Following this guidance will help make sure that you practise safe prescribing. It reminds you that where possible you must avoid prescribing for yourself or those close to you. And goes through what you need to consider when repeat prescribing, prescribing controlled drugs or share the responsibility of your patient with a colleague.

The standards of good practice apply to all doctors working in all settings. That is why advice on face to face and remote prescribing is integrated throughout the guidance. We also set out things to consider if prescribing to patients who are overseas or if prescribing unlicensed medicines. 

This guidance was published on 18 February 2021 and came into effect on 5 April 2021.

This guidance was updated on 15 March 2022.  This included updating the section on ‘Reporting adverse drug reactions medical device incidents and other patient safety incidents’, to reference the latest arrangements and terminology for reporting adverse incidents and near misses across the UK. We also made factual updates to the section on ‘Prescribing unlicensed medicines’, to provide clarity on prescribing medicines supplied under the Northern Ireland MHRA Approved Route (NIMAR).