The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has issued an advice sheet for nurses and midwives who administer botulinum toxin Type A. The advice, available on the NMC Web site, www.nmc-uk.org, is to be read in conjunction with the Standards for Medicine Management (2007) and clarifies the NMC’s position regarding the administration of botulinum toxin Type A from a remote prescription.

The NMC does not consider it to be best practice to administer botulinum toxin Type A that has been prescribed remotely by a medical practitioner or by an independent prescriber who has not assessed the patient as this is contrary to the guidance issued within the NMC Standards for Medicine Management (2007).

"Botulinum toxin like all medicines has the potential to give rise to side effects and adverse reactions," says Liz Plastow, NMC professional advisor. "If a nurse or midwife administers this from a remote prescription, they are jointly accountable for this action. If a reaction occurs, although the prescriber would be liable for prescribing the drug, the nurse or midwife would be accountable for their assessment of the patient and the administration of the drug."

[www.medicalnewstoday.com, November 26, 2007]