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When prescribing medicines you must ensure that your prescribing is appropriate and responsible and in the patient's best interests. We have put together some links that provide guidance on safe prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines.



NPS Prescribing Competencies Framework

The Prescribing Competencies Framework describes the competencies that you as health professionals require to prescribe medicines judiciously, appropriately safely and effectively in the Australian healthcare system.

For further information go to: - Prescribing Competencies Framework


Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare

Recommendations for Terminology, Abbreviations and Symbols used in the Prescribing and Administration of Medicines.

The objectives of this paper is to promote patient safety and clear and unambiguous prescribing of medicines.  The document establishes the following:

  • Principles for consistent prescribing terminology
  • A set of recommended terms and acceptable abbreviations
  • A list of error-prone abbreviations, symbols and dose designations that have a history of causing error and must be avoided

For further information go to: - ACSQHC Recommendations.pdf


Clinical Oncological Society of Australia

Guidelines for the safe prescribing, dispensing and administration of cancer chemotherapy.

The issue of medication safety is highly significant when anti-cancer therapy is used as a treatment modality due to the high potential harm from these agents and the disease context in which they are being used. Medication errors can occur for a number of reasons, but the application of specific guidelines and procedures clearly reduces the incidence of errors along with a multidisciplinary approach. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on the safe prescribing, dispensing and administration of chemotherapy and related agents used in the treatment of cancer. It is intended that this document be used as a guidance tool to inform local practice and that it will be adapted according to local service needs.

For further information go to: - Guidelines for Safe Prescribing 2008.pdf


Sydney Children’s Hospital

Drug Utilisation Review Committee

Therapeutic Guideline

Clear communication of medication orders minimises medication errors.  Prescribers are encouraged to use these simple and standardised prescribing guidelines in order to ensure medication errors are clear and that the right drug in the right dose is given to the right patient at the right time, all the time.

For further information go to: - NIMC Safe Prescribing Guidelines.pdf


General Medical Council - UK

Good practice in prescribing medicines - guidance for doctors

September 2008

The booklet Good Medical Practice (2006) sets out in paragraphs 1 to 3 and 20 to 22 the principles that doctors must follow when prescribing medicines.

The guidance explains how these principles apply in situations that doctors often meet, or find hard to deal with. GMC propose to review this guidance regularly to ensure that it is up to date and relevant to problems doctors face, and reflect any legal differences across the UK countries. It will publish updated versions on their website. Printed copies are available on request.

For further information go to: - Prescriptions FAQs