Medicines and medicinal products are substances used for treating or preventing disease in human beings or in animals. They are produced by pharmaceutical companies according to a complex range of legislation, standards and frameworks. New medicines are developed by research and are subject to clinical trials to ensure their effectiveness.

The safety of medicines depends on effective systems of medicines management, from manufacture, licensing, prescribing and dispensing, to administration. The prescribing and administration of medicines is an important aspect of the professional practice of many primary healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses.

Information relating to prescribing practice can be found in the Prescribing topic.

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