Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Claire Anderson has called on the Government to give pharmacists the resources and scope to prescribe safely across all healthcare settings.
In a letter to The Times, Ms Anderson praised the health secretary Sajid Javid’s desire “to harness the skills of pharmacist prescribers” but insisted a lack of funding is hindering progress.
“About 20 per cent of pharmacists have already trained as prescribers but frustratingly some are unable to provide care that is free to patients even though they are qualified because the NHS does not yet fund the service in their area,” she wrote.
“We urge the government to give pharmacists equal access across the country to appropriate information, systems and resources to prescribe safely in all settings.”
Ms Anderson said Javid had “a huge opportunity to improve access to medicines by providing patients with the right services and pharmacists with the right support to facilitate effective NHS prescribing in the community.”
Mr Javid’s knowledge of pharmacy prescribing has been called into question recently. The shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth singled him out for criticism on Twitter on Monday over a story that appeared in the national press claiming he was considering proposals to allow pharmacies to prescribe.
Mr Ashworth tweeted: “Can someone let ‘the Saj’ know pharmacists can already prescribe.”