Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP)

The latest edition of Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP) continues to evolve with many new, updated and revised sections.

The professional guide for pharmacists has been designed as an underpinning document to help pharmacists practise confidently and professionally. It embeds professionalism and professional judgement at the heart of the decision-making process.

The advice contained in MEP 40 intends to support day-to-day practice, rather than simply highlighting pharmacist’s statutory obligations. As such it will empower pharmacists, helping them to make the right decisions.

More importantly, MEP has been designed and developed with our members for our members.

Topics covered by the MEP Topics covered by the MEP

  • Core concepts and skills
    • Patient or person centred healthcare
    • Medicines optimisation and pharmaceutical care
    • Professionalism and professional judgement
    • Clinical check
    • The pharmacist consultation in practice
    • Getting the culture right
    • Professional empowerment
    • Professional development
    • Research involvement
  • Underpinning knowledge – legislation and professional issues
    • Classification of medicines
    • Professional and legal issues: Pharmacy medicines
    • Professional and legal issues: Prescription- only medicines
    • Wholesale dealing
    • Additional legal and professional Issues
    • Veterinary medicines
    • Controlled Drugs
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society resources
  • Professional standards
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society code of conduct
  • Excluded topics and signposting
  • Partnerships with specialist groups
  • Pharmacist Support
  • Appendices – General Pharmaceutical Council standards and guidance

What's new in MEP 40 What's new in MEP 40

The following new sections have been added to this year’s edition:

  • Supply of naloxone by individuals employed or engaged in the provision of recognised drug treatment services
  • Explaining biosimilar medicines

Significant revisions have also been made to the following sections based on member feedback, changes to legislation, standards, and policy developments etc:

  • Professionalism and professional judgement: information on conflicts of interest and declaration of interests
  • Clinical check: signposting to new RPS resources on electronic health records
  • Medicines reconciliation
  • Helping patients to understand their medicines
  • Getting the culture right: signposting to new RPS resources on near miss errors
  • Military prescriptions
  • Dispensing valproate for girls and women
  • Summary of prescriber types and prescribing restrictions: updated to include new information on therapeutic radiographer independent prescribers and dietitian supplementary prescribers
  • Checking registration of healthcare professionals and additional information on conditions of supply: updated to include new information on sale, supply and administration of medicines by orthoptists
  • Wholesale dealing:
    • clarification on Controlled Drugs
    • signposting to information on supply to orthoptists
  • Reporting adverse events: additional signposting to Yellow Card mobile app
  • Collection and purchase of medicines by children: updated to include guidance on purchase of medicines by children
  • Administration of adrenaline in an emergency
  • Veterinary medicines: updated information on wholesale dealing (including human medicines for veterinary use under the Cascade)
  • Controlled Drugs: updates to reflect new NICE guidance Controlled drugs: safe use and management which was published in April 2016
  • Controlled Drugs – background: updated information on accountable officers
  • Obtaining Controlled Drugs – requisition requirements for Schedule 1, 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs
  • Instalment direction for Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs: updated to include new home Office approved wording
  • Destruction of Controlled Drugs: methods of destruction
  • Record keeping and Controlled Drugs registers: running balances
  • Disposing of spent methadone bottles

What's not covered by the MEP What's not covered by the MEP

Human A-Z list of medicines


Limited use in day-to-day practice as information is available by marketing authorisation on the packaging of the medicine.
Lists are not exhaustive and information exists elsewhere


RPS website: is currently being developed. A PDF copy of the A-Z list as it was in 2010 is available here.
BNF: CD schedule information and partial classification for medicines within formulary
MHRA: Rama XL resource. Commercial access to comprehensive MHRA sentinel database. Available under subscription 
Other: C&D price list, OTC directories, Summary of Product characteristics database, Home Office list of Controlled Drugs

Lists derived from medicines legislation
wholesale lists
conditions under which smallpox vaccine can be administered


Reproduction of legislation and lists from legislation is not a core role of a professional body.
Some lists are of little relevance to daily practice
Alternative sources of information are available.


Human Medicines Regulations 2012
Dale and Appelbe’s Pharmacy and Medicines Law. 10th edition. 2013

CHIP or COSSH regulations


Comprehensive alternative source of information available


Comprehensive information available from the Health and Safety Executive.

Denatured alcohol


Comprehensive alternative source of information available


Detailed information available in HMRC Notice 473
Dale and Appelbe’s Pharmacy and Medicines Law. 10th edition. 2013

Veterinary A-Z list of medicines


Reliable and robust alternative sources of information freely available


Veterinary Medicines Directorate product database
NOAH compendium database

Community pharmacy contractual frramework


Comprehensive alternative source of information available


Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC)
NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework Service Development (England)
Community Pharmacy Wales
NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework Service Development (Wales)
Community Pharmacy Scotland

Specials/Unlicensed medicines


Comprehensive information available on RPS website and alternative sources


RPS:Professional guidance for the procurement and supply of Specials. December 2015.
RPS: Guidance for the prescribers of Specials. April 2016.
RPS: Advice/clarification on crushing tablets and opening capsules. June 2011. 
RPS: Information on pharmaceutical issues when crushing, opening or splitting oral dosage forms. June 2011
GPhC. Guidance for registered pharmacies preparing unlicensed medicines. See appendix 12 or

Health and safety


Comprehensive alternative source of information available


Health and Safety Executive
Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy and Medicines Law. 10th edition. 2013


Purchasing MEP

If you’re not eligible to be a member of the Society but are interested in purchasing a copy of MEP, you can do so by visiting the Pharmaceutical Press website.

Buy MEP 40