Background and objective: Pharmacist prescribing is a relatively new intiative in the extension of prescribing responsibilities to non-medical healthcare professionals. Pharmacist supplementary prescribing was introduced in 2003 and allowed prescribing in accordance with a clinical management plan agreed with a medical practitioner and patient to improve patient access to medicines and better utilize the skills of healthcare professionals. The objective of this research was to examine the volume, cost and trends in pharmacist prescribing in community and primary care using Prescription Analysis and Cost (PACT) data and to suggest possible reasons for the trends. Methods: Using PACT data at national, chapter and subchapter level for 2004-2006 the volume, costs and trends for pharmacist prescribing were obtained. Supplemental data and statistical analysis from other sources, relating to prescribing of individual drugs, were also utilized. Results: The total number of items prescribed by pharmacists in community and primary care increased from 2706 in 2004 to 31 052 in 2006. In 2006, pharmacist prescribing represented only 0.004% of all prescribing in the community and primary care setting. Cardiovascular medicines were the most frequently prescribed therapeutic class followed by central nervous system, respiratory, endocrine and gastrointestinal medicines. Conclusion: Pharmacist prescribing is increasing but represents an extremely small proportion of primary care prescribing. PACT data between 2004 and 2006 reflects pharmacist supplementary prescribing alone and has been in the anticipated therapeutic areas of drugs which treat chronic conditions such as hypertension.
- Prescription Analysis and Cost