Commenting today on the GMC’s publication, 'Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices', Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, said: “We warmly welcome the GMC’s updated guidance to clinicians on good practice in prescribing medicines, which is a significant improvement on the draft."


​Stephen added:

"In particular, we welcome the guidance on the circumstances in which unlicensed medicines are prescribed, which retains the GMC’s previous position. 

“The ABPI led the bio-pharmaceutical industry response to the GMC’s consultation in 2011 on the draft guidance. Our approach throughout the consultation has been to ensure the updated guidance would not compromise patient safety, the medicines licensing system or incentives for medical innovation. The updated guidance is a common sense approach to the prescription of unlicensed medicines, which is good for patient safety, and is undoubtedly in their interests.

“Decisions on the prescribing of unlicensed medicines are never easy, and this is why it is so critical to get this guidance right. The GMC has listened to stakeholders and taken an open and constructive approach to engaging with us. The new guidance reaffirms that patient need should be at the heart of clinical decisions."

Media enquiries

ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1410 or +44 (0) 20 7747 1441
Mobile: +44 (0) 7850 312064 or +44 (0) 7808 641811

Notes to editors

The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.

The ABPI is recognised by Government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.

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