Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Palliative care

Anticipatory prescribing practices rapidly changing under COVID-19

A survey of clinicians in the UK and Ireland has revealed that local changes to drug prescription, administration, and support structures for anticipatory prescribing have been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open access article

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has made this article free to access in order to help healthcare professionals stay informed about an issue of national importance.

To learn more about coronavirus, please visit: https://www.rpharms.com/resources/pharmacy-guides/wuhan-novel-coronavirus

Holding hands with someone in a hospital bed

Source: Shutterstock.com

The changes reported in the survey were attributed to factors such as stock and staffing shortages during the pandemic, a shift towards reduced patient contact and the need for rapid pain relief in people dying from COVID-19

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to innovation in anticipatory prescribing (AP) practices within community palliative care, the results of a survey in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care (16 June 2020) have shown[1].

The survey, which enquired about local changes to drug prescription, administration, and support structures for AP during the COVID-19 pandemic, was completed by 261 clinicians in community, hospice and hospital settings in the UK and Ireland in April 2020.

Many clinicians reported changes to route of administration, such as to oral/buccal routes from subcutaneous injections (47%), and the type (38%), total quantities (35%) and dosages of medicines prescribed (29%). Allowing family members or social care workers to administer AP medicines — often by buccal, sublingual or transdermal routes — was reported by 37% of clinicians, and implementing remote telephone or video assessments was reported by 63% of clinicians.

AP involves dispensing medicines in advance of clinical need, so staff can quickly respond to the needs of people at the end of life. The changes reported in the survey were attributed to factors such as stock and staffing shortages during the pandemic, a shift towards reduced patient contact and the need for rapid pain relief in people dying from COVID-19.

“These changes are occurring at pace: it remains to be seen how widely they are implemented, how effective they are and how much they will persist after the pandemic,” the researchers concluded.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208150

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.