The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has released its new 10 Minimum Standards for Prescribing to ensure patient safety and high-quality health care. Developed by the AMA Council of General Practice (AMACGP) and approved by the AMA Federal Council, the Standards are consistent with medical ethics and frameworks for the quality use of medicines.
AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that the AMA’s new Prescribing Standards are all about putting the interests of patients first, and providing governments with strong evidence to reject attempts by unauthorised or inappropriately skilled practitioners who may seek prescribing rights outside of their scope of practice.
the AMA’s new Prescribing Standards (provide) governments with strong evidence to reject attempts by unauthorised or inappropriately skilled practitioners who may seek prescribing rights outside of their scope of practice
“Currently, a range of health professionals can prescribe S4 and S8 medications. The primary prescribers are doctors, but dentists, optometrists, midwives, and nurse practitioners also have authorised prescribing rights within regulated limitations and in very specific circumstances,” Dr Bartone said. In response to this, the guidelines were developed to make clear the minimum standards required of all prescribers authorised to prescribe S4 and S8 medications.
The AMA is concerned with a push by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for pharmacists to have prescribing rights, deemed “inappropriate, and unsafe for patients.” The concern has compelled them to develop a proposal, in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), for integrating pharmacists within general practice to assist GPs and their patients with medication management.
The AMA aims to separate prescribing and dispensing as an important safety measure and to ensure trust between doctor and patient. Dr Bartone said the new Prescribing Standards will provide guidance to all prescribers in understanding their role within a patient’s GP-led multidisciplinary health team.
Dr Bartone also acknowledged the importance of health professionals operating within their scope of practice. He urges “all governments to ensure that patient care is not fragmented, misdirected, or delayed by prescribing models that do not align with the AMA’s Standards.”
The AMA 10 Minimum Standards for Prescribing are available at https://ama.com.au/10-minimum-standards-prescribing.