Pharmacist prescribing in the United Kingdom and the implication for the Nigerian context

Auta, Asa orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6515-5802, Strickland-Hodge, Barry, Maz, Julia and Alldred, David P. (2015) Pharmacist prescribing in the United Kingdom and the implication for the Nigerian context. West African Journal of Pharmacy, 26 (1). pp. 54-61. ISSN 1118-9096

[thumbnail of Version of Record]
PDF (Version of Record) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


Background: Non-medical professionals including pharmacists have been granted the right to prescribe medicines in the United Kingdom. In Nigeria, only medical doctors, dentists and some nurses in primary care facilities have the legal right to prescribe medicines and patients' access to prescriptions can be seriously affected by a shortageof prescribers and long waiting times in hospitals.
Objective: This article presents a review of pharmacist prescribing in the UK including its model, impact, facilitators and barriers and discusses the implications for the Nigerian context.
Methods: A literature search was conducted in Medline, Embase, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases for studies investigating pharmacist prescribing in the UK between 1990 and August 2013.
Results: The review identified that legislative change in the UK has enabled pharmacists to prescribe first as supplementary prescribers then as independent prescribers. This policy change was driven by the desire to increase patients' access to medicines and promote the utilisation of the skills of non-medical professionals while maintaining patient safety. Although more robust research evidence is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of pharmacist prescribing, available evidence shows that it has had an impact on patient access to medicines.
Conclusion: Pharmacist prescribing has the potential to promote access to prescription medicines, free doctors' time to enable them deal with complex cases and promote efficient use of pharmacists' clinical skills in Nigeria as it does in the UK. Factors which can promote the extension of prescribing rights to pharmacists in Nigeria include the current level of pharmacists' training and the clinical roles of pharmacists in some tertiary hospitals.

Repository Staff Only: item control page