Maximising the Benefits and Mitigating the Risks of Pharmacist Independent Prescribing in England


  • Sumayyah Khalid University of Manchester



independent prescribing, independent prescriber, pharmacist prescribing, pharmacist prescriber, pharmacy degree, pharmacy student, england, Australia


The landscape for pharmacist prescribing in England is continuously evolving. Newly qualified pharmacists are set to become independent prescribers at the point of registration by 2025/2026, through a reformed undergraduate MPharm curriculum. Though independent pharmacist prescribers require more tailored support systems, other countries would benefit from adopting England’s progressive approach. This opinion piece examines the risks and benefits of pharmacist independent prescribing in relation to patient and medication safety.


General Pharmaceutical Council [Internet]. [place unknown]: [publisher unknown]. Pharmacist independent prescriber; c2023 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

Department of Health. Improving Patients’ Access to Medicines: A Guide to Implementing Nurse and Pharmacist Independent Prescribing within the NHS in England. [Internet]. London: DH; 2006 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

General Pharmaceutical Council. Standards for the education and training of pharmacist independent prescribers. [Internet]. London: General Pharmaceutical Council; 2022 [updated 2022 Oct; cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

Bartlett D. 'The push for independent prescribing must not just be a tick box exercise’. Chemist + Druggist [Internet]. 2023 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Jun 9]: Opinion. Available from:

General Pharmaceutical Council [Internet]. [place unknown]: [publisher unknown]. New standards for initial education and training of pharmacists approved; 2020 Dec 11 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

Wickware C. A quiet revolution: how pharmacist prescribers are reshaping parts of the NHS. Pharm J [Internet]. 2021 Jul 27 [cited 2023 Jun 9];307(7951). Available from: doi:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.97988

Burns C. Independent prescribing pharmacist numbers total 15,000, increasing by two-thirds in two years. Pharm J [Internet]. 2022 Sep 30 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from: doi:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.159208

General Pharmaceutical Council. Survey of registered pharmacy professionals 2019. [Internet]. West Yorkshire: Enventure; 2019 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

Royal Pharmaceutical Society [Internet]. [place unknown]: Royal Pharmaceutical Society; c2023. Pharmacist Independent Prescribers; [date unknown] [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:,including%20out%20of%20hours%20services

Care System Support [Internet]. [place unknown]: SCW; 2022. Protecting patient access to community pharmacy services; 2022 May 16 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

All-Party Pharmacy Group. The Future of Pharmacy Manifesto report. [Internet]. [place unknown]: All-Party Pharmacy Group; 2023 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

Merlo G. The evidence shows pharmacist prescribing is nothing to fear. The Conversation [Internet]. 2019 Nov 26 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:

Taylor J, Davies C. Pharmacist prescribers make discharge from hospital safer. Rx Magazine [Internet]. 2020 Jan 8 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from: