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Guidance on prescribing and dispensing

Guidance on prescribing for GPs and workbooks and guides to foster improved communication between GP practices and community pharmacists.


Increase for NHS prescription charges - 1 April 2017

The Department of Health in England announced on 16 March 2017 that the charge for a single prescription will increase by 20p from £8.40 to £8.60 for each medicine or appliance dispensed.

This increase came into effect on 1 April 2017.

The BMA believes it would be best to abolish prescription charges in England - they have already been abolished in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Read the full details on GOV.UK


Patient Group and Patient Specific Directions

The advice on the use of Patient Group Directions (PGDs) and Patient Specific Directions (PSDs) in general practice has been updated, January 2016.

Read the guidance


NICE lipid modification guidance

The BMA's General Practitioners Committee (GPC) believes that there is insufficient evidence of significant overall benefit to low-risk individuals to allow GPs to have confidence in the recommendation to reduce the risk-threshold for prescribing cholesterol-lowering drugs, and that doing so might distort health spending priorities and disadvantage other patients.

Read GPC's statement


Prescribing in general practice

Doctors have specific clinical rights and responsibilities in relation to prescribing. This guidance contains FAQs on prescribing of use to doctors as well as answering general issues around prescribing when dealing with queries from patients.

Read the guidance


Anticipatory prescribing for end of life care

This Focus on guidance explains the use of anticipatory prescribing which is designed to ensure that there is a supply of drugs in the patient's home, combined with the apparatus needed to administer them, to enable prompt symptom relief at whatever time the patient develops distressing symptoms.

Read the guidance


Excessive prescribing

We are aware of cases where PCOs and LMCs seem to be taking a different view on what is excessive prescribing, and in some cases PCOs are making financial threats to practices. We have produced Focus on guidance for your reference.

Read the guidance


Prescribing multi compartment compliance aids (MCA)

Multi-compartment compliance aids (previously known as Monitored Dosage Systems) demand from patients has steadily increased. Although they assist patients to use their medicines correctly, concerns have been raised about the potential risk they represent to their health.

Read the guidance


Community pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry

The community pharmacy and the GP practice

Covering key areas such as funding arrangements, the impact of prescribing policies and clinical and administrative functions, these guides will assist in developing more effective working relationships and in turn, improve primary care services for patients.

The community pharmacy - a guide for GPs and practice staff
The GP practice - a guide for community pharmacists and pharmacy staff


Guidance for the implementation of repeat dispensing

This guidance explains briefly but clearly what repeat dispensing is, how suitable patients might be identified and the potential benefits. It also gives the tops ten tips for successful implementation; which have been suggested by GPs, practice managers and pharmacists.

Read the guidance


Prescription direction - maintaining good practice

A joint statement from the BMA, Pharmaceutical Service Negotiating Committee and Pharmacy Voice on prescription direction which illustrates activities to avoid in order to maintain good practice.

Read the joint statement


Community pharmacy advanced services - Medicines Use Reviews and the New Medicine Service

This briefing has been written to provide information for GP practices about advanced services provided by community pharmacies in England under the NHS structures implemented in April 2013. This guidance has been developed jointly by NHS Employers, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC).

Read the guidance


Improving communication between community pharmacy and general practice

A workbook produced jointly by the BMA and NPA which describes various Community Pharmacy-GP interactions, and highlights some principles of good practice. The intention is that pharmacists and GPs should work through this book together to identify local challenges and formulate solutions. It could be used at a meeting of local practices and pharmacies, or alternatively between Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) and LMCs.

Download the workbook


Best practice for ensuring the efficient supply of medicines to patients

This joint guidance on managing the supply chain of medicines is relevant to Prescribers, dispensing doctors, pharmacists, manufacturers and wholesalers.

Read the guidance


Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) code of practice

A key change to the ABPI Code of Practice came into effect in 2012. Pharma companies now have to collect and declare (annually) aggregate total amounts paid to health professionals and others for services such as speaker fees and participation in advisory boards. Companies must also declare sponsorship for attendance at meetings organised by third parties.

Read the guidance