Prescribing in 2019: what are the safety concerns?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Unintended harm from prescribing errors remains a prevalent concern in healthcare leading to significant morbidity and mortality around the world. Prescribers face new challenges to their practice in modern times such as increasingly complex health-care systems, an aging population with increasing multimorbidity, and rapid growth in the number of novel medicines.

Areas covered: Prescribing concerns in modern practice are outlined based on seminal literature in this area and the author’s continual academic oversight of this topic. Major UK and international reports have been used to highlight the important emerging issues in prescribing, and focused literature searches performed to highlight key papers supporting this review.

Expert opinion: Whilst there are many ways to consider mitigating the risk of harm from prescribing, it is suggested that a tripartite approach is required. Patients and carers are essential partners in the process and shared decision-making has replaced paternalistic practice in achieving joint prescribing decisions. Comprehensive and coordinated care is critical to avoid fragmented care and poor transfer of prescribing information. Lastly, a whole systems approach is crucial to ensure that all prescribers are supported (and not overwhelmed) when making safe, effective and timely prescribing decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • prescribing
  • medication safety
  • medicine
  • pharmacist
  • inappropriate prescribing
  • polypharmacy
  • drug misuse
  • interprofessional communication
  • deprescribing
  • Prescribing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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