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The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called for increased use of pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) over the next decade.

As medication regimes become more specialised and complex, the role of PIPs has become increasingly important in the delivery of high-quality clinical care, RPS has opined.

“We want to see greater use of PIPs within the multi-disciplinary team to expand patient access to care, create capacity in the health care system and improve individual health outcomes,” the pharmacy body said.

RPS has urged the governments and healthcare organisations to act to:

  • establish the right infrastructure, systems and tools to enable patients to benefit from PIPs as part of routine care
  • develop the highly trained PIP workforce required to work routinely as part of multi-professional teams in all health care settings
  • provide ongoing professional development for PIPs as well as expanding their role in teaching and peer support.

“Non-medical prescribing was introduced in the UK some 30 years ago, but many pharmacists who trained as prescribers have been unable to use their qualification because opportunities to do so aren’t available,” Elen Jones, RPS Director for Wales said.

“During the pandemic, there has been much innovative service design and we want to see healthcare systems build on this and review their service configurations to include PIPs to make the most of their professional skills.”

The RPS has also called for an openness among the pharmacy profession to act as independent prescribers.

“In order to support better, and safer, patient pathways pharmacists working as prescribers in any care settings must have the ability to request and view results of investigations and access to recognised referral pathways,” RPS added.

This will help integration into the wider multi-professional team, create greater autonomy of service and assure patient safety, the pharmacy body noted.

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