Deprescribing needs to be considered in the pharmacists’ prescribing role

Lisa Kouladjian O'Donnell and Mouna J Sawan
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50461
Published online: 17 February 2020

To the Editor: Pharmacist prescribing rights in Australia have recently sparked debate between medical practitioners and pharmacists.1 While discussion on the potential role of pharmacists to prescribe is important, the debate has focused on the initiation of medications. There is a need to acknowledge that prescribing is a process, which, according to the World Health Organization's six‐step Guide to good prescribing, includes “Step 6: Monitor (and stop?) the treatment”.2 Given inappropriate polypharmacy is increasing in older people,3 collaborative deprescribing (defined as the supervised withdrawal of inappropriate medications) with pharmacists, medical practitioners, and patients should therefore be given equal priority within this debate.

  • Lisa Kouladjian O'Donnell1,2,3
  • Mouna J Sawan1,3

  • 1 National Health and Medical Research Council Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Kolling Institute, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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