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AMA 10 Minimum Standards for Prescribing

The AMA has developed a document outlining '10 Minimum Standards for Prescribing' to address concerns about proposals for independent and autonomous pharmacist prescribing.

Good patient care involves communication and collaboration between all the health practitioners (medical and non-medical) involved as part of the a patient’s health care team. These guidelines have been developed to make it clear the minimum standards that must be required of all prescribers authorised to prescribe S4 and S8 medications.

The 10 Minimum Standards for Prescribing are principally concerned with health services, General Practitioners and other medical professionals and address emergency care, admitted care and non-admitted care episodes.

It is the view of AMA that these standards should apply to all authorised prescribers.

The 10 Minimum Standards for Prescribing:

Standard 1: Prescribing by non-medical health practitioners should only occur within a medically led and delegated team environment in the interests of patient safety and quality of care.

Standard 2: There must be no pecuniary or non-pecuniary benefit to the prescriber related to the choice of medicines prescribed or the dispensing of those prescribed medicines.

Standard 3: Before prescribing establish a therapeutic relationship with the patient and perform a comprehensive medicines assessment to identify what other medicines, including complementary medicines, the patient is taking and consider any implications to the patient’s treatment plan.

Standard 4: Prescribers ensure they:

a) consider the necessity and appropriateness of medications in managing the patient's health care needs,

b) choose the most suitable and cost effective medicines when medicines are considered appropriate, taking into account the efficacy, potential for self-harm and the ability of the patient to adhere to the dosage regimen, 

c) advise patients are aware of the relevant side effects of prescribed medications as well as relevant interactions between medications, and

d) report any adverse reactions to the TGA.

Standard 5: Prescribers must maintain clinical independence.

Standard 6: Prescribers must operate only within their scope of practice and comply with state, territory and legislative requirements including restrictions under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Standard 7: Prescribers work in partnership with the patient to set therapeutic goals and with other health professionals as appropriate to select medicines and to tailor and implement a treatment plan.

Standard 8: Prescribers provide clear instructions to delegated prescribers within the health care team and to other health professionals who dispense, supply, or administer the prescribed medicines.

Standard 9: Prescribers with the patient consent communicate with other health professionals within the patient’s health care team about the patient’s medicines and treatment plan.

Standard 10: Prescribers monitor and review the patient’s response to treatment and adjust the treatment plan as appropriate.