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Self prescribing by Doctors

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  • Self prescribing by Doctors

    In a recent episode of "Call the Midwife", a young girl was suffering severe period pain. A young Dr gave her some Pethidine tablets.
    Pethidine was first synthesised when trying to make atropine. It has smooth muscle relaxant properties as well as being a potent analgesic.
    I was at a locume in the late 50s when a young lady identified herself as a Dr and presented a legal script for Pethidine for herself. I cautioned her that this was a controlled drug and that GMC not approving of self medication with restricted medicines.
    In the 80s a dr presented NHS scripts for antibiotics for himself and family. I cautioned him, but he replied it was legal. After that, Another Dr was doing the same with Temazepam. I cautioned him and showed him the GMC statement which I now carried in my locum bag.
    Girls viewing the TV show may well think that Pethidine is the answer to their problem and could ask their Dr to prescribe. If they are Drs themselves they may well prescribe for them selves.
    It was Pethidine that started Dr Shipman on the slippery slope.

    Last edited by johnep; 12, February 2020, 12:31 PM.

  • #2
    It might be legal but leaves that prescriber open to accusations. The worst is when they use an NHS prescription pad to write precriptions for their own family by hand no PMR audit trail on the medical practice computer!
    Last edited by Primrose; 25, February 2020, 03:06 PM. Reason: Mispelt!!


    • #3
      It would seem madness to me to delay a patient's treatment by not prescribing drugs like antibiotics if the doctor feels it is appropriate, regardless of their personal relationship to the patient. While it may not be best practice, GP surgeries are usually closed outside of 9-5 weekdays and it can often take weeks to get an appointment regardless, plus there are many patients not registered with a local GP practice. We cannot allow rules and regulations to significantly delay the prescribing of drugs for potentially serious medical conditions.

      I don't seriously think that an episode of "call the midwife" is suddenly going to result in an epidemic of pethidine prescriptions, any more than any other tv medical drama would.