Update: Dental prescribing in Greater Manchester

Update: Dental prescribing in Greater Manchester

January 9, 2019

Greater Manchester pharmacy commissioners have produced this update to brief community pharmacies on prescribing advice that has been issued to dentists in Greater Manchester:

We wanted to draw our community pharmacy teams’ attention to some recent advice sent to the dentists in Greater Manchester, which includes encouraging the prescribing of sugar-free medicines on all dental prescriptions when appropriate to do so. Further guidance has been provided to the dental teams around prescribing in general, and is detailed below:

Dentists can legally write prescriptions for any POM (Prescription Only Medicines). However, the General Dental Council advises that dentists should restrict their prescribing to areas in which they are competent and generally only prescribe medicines that have uses in dentistry. When prescribing on an NHS dental prescription, dentists are restricted to the medicines listed in the Dental Prescribers’ Formulary (Part 8a of the Drug Tariff for Scotland or Part XVIIa of the Drug Tariff for England and Wales). The dental formulary is also reproduced within the British National Formulary.

Dental Prescriptions: Where the Controlled Drug prescription is written by a dentist, the words ‘for dental treatment only’ should be present. More info can be found at: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/dental-practitioners-formulary/https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pharmacies-gp-practices-and-appliance-contractors/drug-tariff

Type of prescriber Can prescribe controlled drugs (Schedule 2-5) on a prescription  Can prescribe unlicensed medicines Other applicable considerations Other applicable considerations
Dentist registered in UK Yes (but not cocaine, dipipanone or diamorphine for treating addiction)
Address of prescriber must be within the UK unless prescribing Schedule 4

Address of prescriber must be within the UK unless prescribing Schedule 4 or 5 Controlled Drugs

Yes (subject to accepted clinical good practice)

Should restrict prescribing to treatment of dental conditions but legally can prescribe within clinical expertise.

NHS dental prescriptions are restricted to medicines within the Dental Formulary (See BNF)

Yes. Includes phenobarbital for epilepsy but not Schedule 1, 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs (see section 3.3.10.2)

Private Prescriptions: Dentists have been requested to ensure they following the most up-to-date guidance when completing private prescriptions. Advice is outlined via the link: https://www.medicinescomplete.com/#/content/bnf/PHP97235

Self-Prescribing or for family members: There are many reasons for such tight controls on self-prescribing and prescribing to family/friends, most of which are connected to the loss of objectivity. In Responsible Prescribing, the GDC cautions: “Everyone needs objective clinical advice and treatment. Dentists who prescribe drugs for themselves or those close to them may not be able to remain objective and risk overlooking serious problems, encouraging or tolerating addiction, or interfering with care or treatment provided by other healthcare professionals.”




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