Learn About Clinical Indications

Dr Nigel Masters


Dr Nigel Masters is a general medical practitioner who has pioneered the concept of clinical indications on drug prescriptions in healthcare. He considers it the most significant advance in medicines management for the last fifty years. This website gives vital information about this important medical innovation.

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Clinical indications are a combination of three or four words that can be used on a prescription to describe the effect on the patient of a particular drug.

See the Sample Directory of Clinical Indications for examples

This site exists to promote the use of clinical indications with the goal of seeing them widely used.

Learn about clinical indications
Read the frequently asked questions
Watch the introductory video
Try the online demonstration
Find out about clinical indications in practice

The General Medical Council has endorsed the use of Clinical Indications for all medical prescribers in its latest guidelines on Good Practice in Prescribing published in February 2013. In the section Keeping up to date and prescribing safely the guidance advises "You should consider including clinical indications on your prescriptions."

The link below takes you to the document. The guidance can be found in paragraph 10 (which is on Page 2 of the PDF).




2015 Research in Primary Care in Quebec, Canada using the Medical Office of the XX1ST Century electronic health record that supports treatment indications and outcomes has shown greater adverse drug reactions with off - label use of medications. (Published online. Title :Association of Off-Label Drug Use and Adverse Drug Events in an Adult Population. JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6058.)

In Boston, U.S.A. a team of clinicians and affiliates are attempting to construct a fully working clinical indications software system to sit within their existing medical software platform within six years. Driven by safety concerns they have produced a list of High level Design Considerations which could be introduced in the system development. There is a link which takes you to their working website http://chainonline.org/research-tools/improving-hit-prescribing-safety/.


The General Medical Council in the UK releases its guidance Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices. This states on paragraph 10 that 'all prescribers should consider adding clinical indications on your prescriptions'. This website is referenced in the article.


Sharing adverse drug reactions with patients


Dr Penelope Barley writes about her use of clinical indications in an article reproduced on this site courtesy of Pulse Magazine.

Read Dr Barley's article

You will need a PDF reader to view the above file. Download Adobe Acrobat here.


The LiMA (Logic intergrated Medical Assessment) software program used in the work capability assessments by the Department of Work and Pensions uses a clinical indications process to link drugs to their clinical indication. Information states that The LiMA system provides Healthcare Professionals (HCP) with a system of data entry that minimises typing. This is known as 'assisted text control ' and allows information to be quickly and easily added to a report. Their use is said to be never mandated and the option of 'free text ' (where the user types into the report) is always available.The HCP when adding a pharmaceutical medication are given a list of possible clinical indications from a pre-prepared pick list which is added to the report. This linkage of drug and clinical indications helps lay assessors understand the role of the medicine prescribed in a given client.

Clinical Indications

Enhancing Care

Clinical Indications allows all Healthcare staff to understand why drugs are being prescribed. Thus the health team can reinforce prescribing indication and drug compliance.

Increasing Safety

Clinical Indications clarifies need for specific medication use and adds essential safety information. Drug prescribing indication is a valuable risk assessment tool as it helps the prescriber balance risk and benefit of the medication.

Empowering Patients

Clinical Indications provides simple explanations of the reason for each prescription. This benefits patients who are on numerous medications. Carers can quickly identify important drugs and reassure confused vulnerable patients.