Health authority chief executives have been told to work with clinical colleagues to prevent an increase in prescribing over the millennium holiday.

Guidance issued by NHS Executive director of planning Alisdair Liddell says excessive prescribing is 'the main risk' to drug supplies because 'there is simply not enough supply to support a widespread increase in prescribed quantities'. It says supplies will be adequate if normal Christmas and new year prescribing patterns are maintained.

The Year 2000 Problem: medicines supply .