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Health Professionals Prescribing

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The National Alliance for Pharmacy Education (NAPE) has identified Health Professionals Prescribing as an important evolution in the practice of pharmacists working in more advanced roles.

What is Health Professionals Prescribing?

Health Professionals Prescribing has been defined by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) as "a process whereby health professionals other than medical practitioners may undertake prescribing of medicines consistent with their scope of professional practice". HWA is currently undertaking a Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway (HPPP) project to "develop a national prescribing pathway designed to support safe and competent prescribing".

(HWA is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) www.hwa.gov.au)

NAPE supports Health Professionals Prescribing

NAPE’s involvement in the development of Health Professionals Prescribing officially started in October 2010 when it hosted the Australasian Pharmacist Prescribing Workshop. This was followed by a jointly-signed letter from NAPE and The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia to the then Federal Health Minister (Hon Nicola Roxon MP) promoting non-medical prescribing rights for pharmacists as part of the reform for health professionals.

In late 2011 a number of NAPE members attended focus group meetings to provide feedback about the then draft NPS: Better choices Better health Prescribing Competencies Framework. The final version of the framework, which describes "the competencies health professionals require to prescribe medicines judiciously, appropriately, safely and effectively in the Australian healthcare system", was launched at the National Medicines Symposium in May 2012.

In May 2012 NAPE responded to an HWA consultation regarding the HPPP project. Read the full NAPE response [pdf, new window].

In summary:

  • NAPE believes that the HPPP must be applicable to all prescribers for transparency, equity across health care professions and for consumer safety and confidence that all prescribers are appropriately trained and credentialed.
  • NAPE firmly believes that it is the responsibility of the university sector to develop and deliver a high quality prescribing curriculum and prescribing programs that are accredited by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  • NAPE has identified an immediate need for the development of a standard curriculum for all prescribers and has prioritized this as a key initiative for 2012. As such, NAPE wishes to engage with HWA and NPS: Better choices Better health to facilitate this critical next step in the HPPP project.