Expert advice

Medicines management: Can I administer unlicensed medicines to patients?

As long as informed consent is obtained first, unlicensed medicines can be administered to patients using a patient-specific direction, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths.
medicines

As long as informed consent is obtained first, unlicensed medicines can be administered to patients using a patient-specific direction, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths

All medicines go through clinical drug trials as part of their licensing procedure. If a drug has not undergone clinical trials, it is classed as an unlicensed medicine.

Medicines are licensed to show what conditions they can be used for, the normal doses, the form the medicine takes (such as tablet or liquid), which groups of patients they can be used for, and any known side effects or drug-on-drug interactions.

In line with Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Medicines Management, you must gain informed consent from patients prior to administering any unlicensed medicine. The NMC standards also say that if an unlicensed

...

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs