Australian hospital pharmacists' experiences of a UK non-medical prescribing course

Gregory Weeks, Jennifer Lillian Marriott, Johnson George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Legislative change and a university course to credential pharmacist prescribers are needed to move the pharmacist prescribing agenda forward in Australia. Nonmedical prescribing courses in the UK aim to produce safe and competent prescribers who understand the prescribing process, know their limitations and practice within their area of competence. As no equivalent course exists in Australia there was interest in exploring whether a UK non-medical prescribing course could be adopted for the Australian environment.Aim: To pilot a UK non-medical prescribing course for Australian hospital pharmacists and to elicit participants' views on non-medical prescribing and experiences of the training.Method: The Department of Pharmacy Practice, Monash University hosted a non-medical prescribing course accredited by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain to credential pharmacists as supplementary and independent prescribers. 15 hospital pharmacists undertook the course over 9 months from September 2008. Participating pharmacists were either undertaking or planning to undertake advanced practitioner roles. Pharmacists' views on prescribing and credentialling were explored in 3 focus groups. Focus group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed using NVivo 8.Results: Participants identified positive themes of their understanding of non-medical prescribing and where it could lead, i.e. growth in self-confidence to undertake a new role and improved competency in communication and consultation skills. Negative themes related to legislative constraints, acceptance by other health professionals, assessment requirements for the Period of Learning in Practice and university documentation. Participants also stressed the need for the course to be customised to the Australian setting.Conclusion: This first experience of a course to develop pharmacist prescribing was positive but challenging and can assist the future development of an accredited Australian course for pharmacist prescribers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this