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New Prescribing Committee To Help With Safeguards

MEDIA RELEASE

Rt Hon Wyatt Creech
Minister of Health
6 October 1999

NEW PRESCRIBING COMMITTEE WILL HELP WITH SAFEGUARDS ON NEW PRESCRIBING

A new committee with clinical expertise is being set up to monitor and assess new prescribers as part of Government safeguards and quality controls on the extension of prescribing rights.

"Legislation has just been passed giving designated health professionals the ability to prescribe prescription medicines. It has one aim – to get more health care to more people as early as possible," Health Minister Wyatt Creech said today.

"A range of measures will ensure prescribing is of the highest quality, is safe and cost-effective.

"A New Prescribers Advisory Committee is being established under section 8 of the Medicines Act to scrutinise nurse prescribing proposals. The committee will be multi-disciplinary.

"Other groups seeking prescribing rights will also have their applications considered by the New Prescribers Advisory Committee.

"We're currently seeking nominations for the group – it will include clinical expertise and consumer representatives.

"The committee will scrutinise proposals for prescribing rights, justification for the additional prescribing rights, education, qualifications, and range of medicines it would be appropriate for the professions to prescribe."


ENDS

Terms of reference for the New Prescribers Advisory Committee

The role of the New Prescribers Advisory Committee will be to:

 establish, in consultation with the health professions, generic criteria which any health professional group must meet in preparing an application for prescribing rights (eg, the competency and education requirements that a profession must attain in order to seek registration as a prescriber by the relevant health occupational registration body etc);
 assess applications from health professional groups seeking prescribing rights, including:
 the potential risks and benefits to consumers from extending limited prescribing rights to the professional group;
 whether the proposed competencies, education (ie qualifications) and training requirements developed by the relevant health professional registration body are adequate to ensure safe and competent prescribing by the professional group;
 whether arrangements for continuing education and training, monitoring and assessment, and registration by the relevant health professional registration body are adequate to ensure that prescribing practices by the professional group continue to be appropriate and safe;
 whether the classes of medicines proposed by the professional group for prescribing rights are appropriate, and whether the prescribing of these classes of medicines will be adequately covered in the proposed training and education programmes;
 provide recommendations to the Minister of Health, on the basis of the Committee’s assessment of an application, as to whether a health profession should be granted limited independent prescribing rights;
 advise the Minister of Health on any terms and conditions that should be imposed on new prescribers in order to maintain patient safety.

ENDS

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