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Thread: Guidelines on writing a UK private prescription

  1. #1

    Default Guidelines on writing a UK private prescription

    There are various online pharmacies that will dispense to you if you have a valid UK prescription.

    I aked a family member who can legally write prescriptions (how vague is that ) what would pass for a private prescription and she confirms to me that in extremis so long as it is not a VERY controlled drug (there are different degrees of control, but from my understanding dihydrocodeine would not be a controlled drug for these purposes despite being a class C (or B?) drug under the misuse of drugs act - I think it basically applies to phenobarb and the stronger opioids but am not 100% sure Edit: I have double checked and the degree of control is avaliable for you on the BNF, as described below - just look up the symbol on the info page for the particular pharmaceutical. Those guidelines are at BNF site - (free signup required) all it needs is a signature and name of the prescriber and unambiguous details of what the drug is (including dosage etc).

    Of course if a prescription was written on a discarded napkin it is likely that the pharmacy is going to make further inquiries.

    Finally, I note that anyone may register to the British National Formulary website for free. If you do so, then take a look here you can get very detailed notes on how to write a valid prescription, if you were permitted to do so - bearing in mind my previous comments about how a private prescription need not necessarily confrom to any particular layout.

    I do not suggest that anyone fraudulently writes a prescription. But the above information is interesting to note in my view, and perhaps would be of help if anyone wanted to.
    Last edited by Kris; 02-10-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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  2. #2
    Forgive me for being confused, but any prescription still needs to be made by a doctor/health professional, whether it's NHS or private.
    And you're right, they don't have to look the same as NHS scripts.
    Anyone who is allowed to write one, would know how it's meant to be done..
    So, unless we are talking about writing fraudulent prescriptions, I don't see why anyone would need to know that..

    and perhaps would be of help if anyone wanted to.

    Wanted to write their own prescription? It's that bit ^^^ that's making me ask..
    Last edited by Jellyfish; 02-10-2012 at 08:58 AM. Reason: added more
    Helpful numberthirteen Rated helpful

  3. #3
    I'm just providing information that not only may not be known by many people, but they may not even know where to look.

    I don't think it's up to me what people need to know. This isn't nuclear secrets!

  4. #4
    Maybe we just need to add the caveat that if anyone in the UK was caught trying to
    try to write such a prescription (without having the authority to do so), they'd end up with either a heavy fine or possibly a jail term.
    Last edited by jholden40; 02-10-2012 at 09:57 AM.

  5. #5
    admittedly so Quentin, although I have heard that posession of diamorphine is illegal too

    What is the actual law being broken by the way? I don't doubt there is one, no matter how sarky it reads - it is just that since this is an information thread it's a good idea to couple that info with the info I provided. Not that anyone would consider forging anything, of course
    Like jholden40 liked this post

  6. #6
    @hatettopay
    Well, fraud is the immediate offence that comes to mind. Given the NHS will take you to court for failing to pay for items on a
    legitimate script, I can only imagine how much more eager they would be to do so on the basis of presenting a false private one

    By the way, I assume that it would be standard practice for any pharmacy to phone the prescribing surgery/doctor before dispensing anything presented on a private script ... Of course, I may be wrong on that point, but I'm not willing to find out

    Actually, this article is quite interesting - although it's about US script fraud - it appears it's quite a difficult problem for the US authorities to get a grip on.

    Center for Problem-Oriented Policing | Problem Guides | Prescription Fraud
    Last edited by jholden40; 02-10-2012 at 10:14 AM.
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  7. Quote Originally Posted by hatettopay View Post
    I aked a family member who can legally write prescriptions (how vague is that )

    Finally, I note that anyone may register to the British National Formulary website for free. If you do so, then take a look here you can get very detailed notes on how to write a valid prescription, if you were permitted to do so - bearing in mind my previous comments about how a private prescription need not necessarily confrom to any particular layout.
    What exactly was the OP saying? That you don't have to be a doctor to write a prescription legally? Is there leeway on prescription writing in the UK, as in a massage therapist can write a script or something.
    --Painstaking--

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by painstaking View Post
    What exactly was the OP saying? That you don't have to be a doctor to write a prescription legally? Is there leeway on prescription writing in the UK, as in a massage therapist can write a script or something.
    A registered physiotherapist in the UK can write a perscription as I have had one written for me, however i was referred by a specialist neurologist and was originally referred to the neurologist by a GP.

    Not just GP's can write perscriptions.

    Who can write a prescription? - Health questions - NHS Choices
    Helpful painstaking Rated helpful

  9. @halohippe Thats interesting. So physiotherapy is basically an undergraduate degree. From what I read, its 3-4 years. So after high school, in 3-4 years you would be writing prescriptions. Sounds lucrative to say the least. Can they write private prescriptions or is it just NHS?
    --Painstaking--

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    Quote Originally Posted by painstaking View Post
    @halohippe Thats interesting. So physiotherapy is basically an undergraduate degree. From what I read, its 3-4 years. So after high school, in 3-4 years you would be writing prescriptions. Sounds lucrative to say the least. Can they write private prescriptions or is it just NHS?
    My work covered me for private healthcare so i didn't have to rely on the NHS service. My perscriptions were written by a private phyisotherapist, however this was in consultation with the neurologist.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by painstaking View Post
    What exactly was the OP saying? That you don't have to be a doctor to write a prescription legally?
    I believe he was attempting (in a not-so-cagey way) a discussion about how best to write his own professional looking forged prescriptions for drugs in the UK.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jholden40 View Post
    @hatettopay
    Well, fraud is the immediate offence that comes to mind
    False Instrument would probably be the charge.

    Forgery and Counterfeiting: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service

    Section 58 of the Medicines Act 1968

    Medicines Act 1968

    Likely outcome ?

    Arrested at the chemists, house searched whilst in custody, caution for first offence, further enquiries made
    by the police due to the fact that some pill head attempted to pass off a rubbish prescription as genuine
    without fist concealing their stash, maaan.

    Idiots off the web are likely to do this having read and believed duff info they read on that thar internet.

    This legal advice is worth exactly what you've paid for it.

    Caveat Emptor
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by alumni View Post
    I believe he was attempting (in a not-so-cagey way) a discussion about how best to write his own professional looking forged prescriptions for drugs in the UK.

    That's EXACTLY how I read it.

    And, about 3 seconds after my previous post on this thread had posted, it disappeared...so I thought it had been deleted by a mod.

    *This post was auto-merged. The following text was added 5 minutes after the last post:*

    Everyone knows, that most medical professionals can write a script.

    That's not what this thread as about..I know it, OP knows it, and so do others on this thread it would seem.

    This was basically a "how to" on how to write your own fraudulent prescriptions.
    Whichever way you slice it.

    I don't think it's up to me what people need to know. This isn't nuclear secrets!

    Um..then why post this thread?

    I can't beleive this is still here tbh.
    Last edited by Jellyfish; 02-26-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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  14. #14
    For information purposes

  15. @Jellyfish It seems that is what the OP was stating. But I really was more interested in the fact that others could write scripts in the UK. In the United States, you can only write a prescription if you are a DO, PA, NP, MD, DPM, or DDS/DDM, all of which are higher level education requiring an undergraduate degree. Simple nurses, physiotherapists, or any other non "doctors" cannot write a prescription legally.

    It seemed from reading that you just needed to register with one of the UK agencies and prove some qualifying education to obtain the ability to prescribe. I could not find an exact list but it seems there is a lot of non medical prescribing and different types of prescribing. Found it very interesting.
    --Painstaking--

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    Default Quite Clearcut Prescribing Protocols In UK

    The protocols of prescribing drugs in the United Kingdom are very clear-cut and precise. Up until the early 1980's, the health professionals who were given a mandate to prescribe drugs were quite limited. These professionals would have included doctors, dentists and consultants.

    Now there is a very a strict two tier system which works on the notion of Independent Prescribers and Supplementary Prescribers.

    Independent Prescribers include doctors, who may prescribe whichever drug they deem necessary, although there are certain caveats. Your local doctor or GP may not always be able to prescribe certain medications without first having an initial approval from a consultant. A good example of this would be in my own case, where the combination of drugs I am taking had to be, in effect, "ok'd" by my consultant psychiatrist. Another example might be in the treatment of oncology, or other specialised fields. There are also certain drugs that can only be be prescribed initially by a consultant. Once the medication has been authorised it's tendering is automatically switched to one's own doctor.

    Consultants and Professors in medicine may also prescribe (in the role of Independent Prescriber) and they are at the top of the tree in terms of latitude over what they may prescribe. However, consultants always work in a chosen field, so the medicines they sanction for prescribing tend to be niched.

    Nurse Independent Prescribers can also prescribe but don't have as wide a remit on the types of drugs that they may prescribe under their own volition. They can prescribe some controlled drugs (unlike doctors or consultants who may prescribe any controlled drug), but certain controlled drugs, such as "serious" opiate medications, such as Morphine, have to be authorised by a doctor, although the Nurse may suggest the use of such a drug.

    Pharmacist Independent Prescribers can prescribe any drug they with, so long as it is not a controlled substance. Another term for a Pharmacist Independent Prescriber is your local pharmacist, who can sell over the counter medications and a wide range of drugs that preclude controlled drugs and oral antibiotics, amongst others.

    Dentists are also Independent Prescribers, and they have a surprisingly wide remit of what they may prescribe - including controlled drugs, such as opiate painkillers and benzodiazepines. Dentists scripts are often very desirable to thiefs, because they are almost always hand written in the UK, unlike doctor's scripts, and so they are easily forged.

    Optometerists are also classed as Independent Prescribers, but they may only prescribe drugs directly related to the eyes, or eye conditions and have no licence to prescribe controlled medication.

    Supplementary Prescribers work with a patient after an different prescriber has assessed your health or condition. They work concomitantly with the Indepent Prescriber to engage with and fulfil a health management plan, agreed between you and the prescriber.

    Supplementary Prescribers include, but are not limited to -

    Nurses
    Pharmacists
    Physiotherapists
    Opthalmologists/Optometerists
    Radiographers

    A supplementary prescriber may prescribe any drug that had been agreed upon between yourself and your Independent Prescriber, which should be part of a pain/illness management plan. The drugs a supplementary prescriber can prescribe may be controlled, if that is what the Independent Prescriber has decided is best for your condition. There is an strong element of supervision from the Independent Prescriber to the Supplementary Prescriber.

    An example of how this system works would be if you were to have Obstructive Lung Disease, and your Independent Prescriber (consultant) worked out a management plan that included physiotherapy and medication in the form of inhalers. The task of physiotherapy and the prescribing of the inhalers could then be passed to the Supplementary Carer.

    Another example would be an individual suffering terminal cancer, when the Independent Prescriber arranges a home care management plan with nurses (who become the Supplementary Prescriber) who tend to the patient and also prescribe the controlled drugs, such as Diamorphine and Midazolam, necessary to keep a patient comfortable.

    So, basically, whilst Supplementary Prescribers may prescribe controlled medications, they have to have been given an authorisation to do so by the Independent Prescriber, which, in most 99 out of 100 cases is a consultant or a doctor.

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  17. #17
    See that's a clear an concise post, explaining what makes a prescription.
    The OP admitted to posting the info "if someone ever wanted to" ie..write their own.


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