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The discussion is not new, but since the beginning of the year the idea is slowly becoming a reality: Nursing staff are now also allowed to write out prescriptions. This means that another authority apart from doctors is able to give patients prescriptions.

We have been watching the positioning of nursing services on the German health care market for years. They are increasingly taking on more important roles in medical care and not just in domiciliary patient care. In the last few years, many specialist retailers and homecare specialists have been progressively concentrating on developing their own nursing staff. However, the actual care of the patients is still provided by nursing services or caring relatives, because there is no other legal option. Only nursing services can therefore actually get really close to a patient. The final decision on which product the patient will use rests with the doctor.

If the trend for nursing staff to be able to write (some) prescriptions should establish itself, nursing services which are highly specialized in medical nursing care have a strategically important position. Many homecare specialists will then have to consider whether integrating these services is worthwhile or whether it is strategically more important to build up their own services.

Concerning this issue, particularly important questions are: Which legal guidelines regarding the establishing of a nursing service have to be observed? How will the legal situation regarding the nursing staff’s right to write prescriptions develop?