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PHCY601 Principles of Prescribing

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

Legal and ethical considerations; communication with patients and other health professionals; clinical reasoning and decision-making; physical assessment and diagnostic skills; ’mechanics’ of prescribing; pharmacoeconomic considerations.

Are you ready to take your pharmacy career to a new direction? It is an exciting time to be a pharmacist! Internationally, the role pharmacists can play in patient care is rapidly expanding, and New Zealand is at the forefront of this. Legislation has now been passed that allows pharmacists to prescribe, and the numbers of New Zealand pharmacists registered to prescribe is steadily growing. This innovation is in line with the Government's commitment to support health practitioners to work to their full capacity and provide integrated access to services for patients. The Postgraduate Certificate in Pharmacist Prescribing (PGCertPharmPres) is designed to prepare pharmacists with the knowledge, skills and attributes to competently prescribe medicines within a collaborative healthcare team.

Paper title Principles of Prescribing
Paper code PHCY601
Subject Pharmacy
EFTS 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,857.50
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $10,363.00

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PHCX 601
Limited to
(i) Students must be New Zealand registered pharmacists who are registered in New Zealand and hold a current position involving patient care and have been awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy (or equivalent qualification). (ii) Although this is a distance learning paper, attendance at workshops and clinical skills centres will be required.
The Pharmacy Council of New Zealand lists the following entry requirements for admission into the programme:
  • Applicants must hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy or equivalent
  • Entrants must hold registration in the Pharmacist scope of practice and hold a current Annual Practising Certificate (APC) issued by PCNZ
  • Entrants must have at least two years of recent, appropriate and relevant post-registration experience within a collaborative health team environment, in a community- or hospital-care-based setting
  • Entrants must be able to demonstrate that Competence Standards 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the Pharmacist scope of practice are applicable and part of their current practice
  • Entrants should demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Entrants must have identified an area of clinical practice in which to develop their prescribing skills and have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to their intended area of prescribing practice
  • Entrants must have identified potential Designated Medical Practitioner(s) to provide supervision, support and shadowing opportunities
  • Entrants must have discussed and identified their possible role(s) as a prescriber within the collaborative health team environment they intend to practise in prior to commencing the practicum
  • Entrants must obtain their manager's approval to undertake the programme to ensure they will be allocated work time to complete the practicum

Professor Stephen Duffull

Teaching staff

The paper is taught by a wide range of expert professionals, including medical practitioners, bioethicists, lawyers, patient safety experts, clinical pharmacists and academic staff.

Paper Structure
The paper covers:
  • Introduction to prescribing, clinical skills training, and pharmaceutical care and prescribing care planning
  • The consultation
  • Prescribing in context
  • Prescribing safely and effectively
Teaching Arrangements
Online self-directed learning, three compulsory weekend workshops, and six 2-hour evening videoconferences
No specific textbook requirements
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  • Understand the responsibilities of the pharmacist prescriber
  • Understand methods of effective communication
  • Be able to undertake a relevant clinical examination
  • Be able to use and interpret basic diagnostic aids
  • Be able to formulate a treatment plan
  • Be able to recognise, critically evaluate and respond to influences on prescribing practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of public health issues related to medicines
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional framework for accountability and responsibility relating to prescribing

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system