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Prescribing and medicines management

A general introduction to prescribing and dispensing medicines to dental patients.

This advice provides a general introduction to prescribing and dispensing medicines to dental patients, including:

  • Requirements for prescribing or dispensing to private and NHS patients
  • Your responsibilities under the Consumer Protection Act and how you can avoid liability for a defective medicine
  • Labelling requirements for any medicines you provide
  • Information that must be included on any prescription for patients and the rules for describing quantities
  • Special circumstances that require modifications to normal prescribing.

You must only prescribe medicines that are necessary and must always consider the benefits to the patient against the risks associated with the medicine. As a dentist, you can sell or supply medicines to your patients but, for NHS patients, you must abide by restrictions imposed by NHS regulations.

If you supply medicines to your patients, you must follow good prescribing practice and maintain auditable supply and dispensing records to ensure the patient retains a clear route to the manufacturer, importer, or supplier to avoid you being liable for damage resulting from a defective medicine.

You can provide your patients with controlled drugs necessary for their dental treatment and must follow the requirements for prescriptions, storage and disposal and have up-to-date standard operating procedures.