Prescription with Controlled Medicine – Drug Therapy Example

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"Prescription with Controlled Medicine" is an interesting example of a paper on drug therapy.   The nurses and pharmacists within the medical practice are usually obligated to prescribing medicine to the patients; however, the Medicines, Poisons, and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 and the regulation of the same year, only allows them to prescribe drugs within their listed scope of practice. The listing is provided following the 2004 health regulation. Schedule 8 defines the drugs that are classified under controlled drugs. Controlled medicines are those medicines that are under strict legislative controls and they include Morphine, Oxycodone, Pethidine, methadone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, and dexamphetamine among others.

Neither Nurses nor pharmacists cannot prescribe either of the drugs falling within this class of drugs without approval from Chief Health Officer (CHO) that must be given before prescribing a controlled drug (Society, 2012; Pg. 16). Therefore, prescribed controlled drugs must contain batch numbers indicating they have been approved for such prescription by the CHO; hence, nurses or pharmacists who prescribe controlled drugs without such approval numbers are liable to ethical and legislative and legislative offenses that they must be answerable.

  Notably, during my practice, a pharmacist in my hospital prescribe a controlled medicine without a notification number to a patient. This implied that the pharmacist who prescribed this drug was liable to disciplinary measures or enforcement actions. However, such actions may only follow when it determined that he prescribed the drug for more than two months, or the patient had been prescribed for a controlled drug within the previous two months, or if it is believed that the patient is dependent on that medicine (Australia, 2010; Pg. 56).

However, the pharmacist may have not been subjected to disciplinary measures or enforcement actions if there was a standing approval for the same effect. The standing approval authorizes the prescriber to prescribe the controlled drug. Facilitation of quick initiation of therapy is among the exception where a nurse or pharmacist may prescribe a controlled medicine without the CHO’ s approval (Chaar, Jo-anne, and Ines, 2005; Pg. 200). The facilitation of quick therapy initiation usually provides adequate time for the titration of the prescribed dose and the same may not waiting for the CHO’ s approval since such actions may lead to the death or serious health conditions of the patient in question. It is worth noting that the pharmacist in question was never liable to any disciplinary actions since his actions were accepted by the standing approval that he prescribed the controlled medicine to an inpatient at the hospital (Bessell and Silagy, 2002; Pg.

571). Nonetheless, it is worth noting all pharmacists should understand the different prescription measures and regulations per drug so that they may evade falling on the wrong side of their practice.

However, pharmacists and or nurses should ever be induced with professional training once they are engaged to keep them at par with some simple regulations that may put them into problems. Additionally, drugs with nearly similar legislative regulatory requirements should be banked within the same point and label and guidance provided for their use and prescription (Health, 2003). Additionally, new pharmacists in practice should be orientated on the same exceptional drug use in these special drug banks. Finally, a direct line to the CHO should be provided at the door of such controlled medicines’ banks to enable the pharmacists who intend to use such drugs to reach for the advice.


AUSTRALIA, P. G. O. (2010). Quality care pharmacy standards: quality management system for pharmacies in Australia. Sidney: SAL Global Ltd.

BESSELL, T. & SILAGY, C. (2002). Quality of global e-pharmacies: can we safeguard consumers. European journal of clinical pharmacology, 9(58), pp. 567-572.

CHAAR, B., JO-Anne, B. & INES, K. (2005). Professional ethics in pharmacy: the Australian experience. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 3(13), pp. 195-204.

HEALTH, O. W. (2003). Adherence to long-term therapies: evidence for action. Geneva: World Health Organization.

LEONHART, M., RANNAZZISI, J. & CAVERLY, M. (2010). Pharmacist's manual: an informational outline of the controlled substances Act. Drug enforcement administration, 2(13), pp. 1-85.

SOCIETY, A. P. (2012). Guidelines for the continued dispensing of eligible prescribed medicines by pharmacists. Pharmacy journals, 1(1), pp. 1-16.

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