Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care

This policy guidance includes medicines:

  • for which there are significant safety concerns
  • for which there is a lack of robust evidence of clinical effectiveness
  • that are clinically effective but not the most cost-effective intervention available
  • that are clinically effective but deemed a low priority for NHS funding.

Prescribers are advised that no new patients should be started on these items, that they should be deprescribed for current patients and that, where possible, suitable alternatives should be identified for patients.

However, the guidance does identify some circumstances where it may be appropriate to prescribe some of the items.

As prescribers are advised to consider suitable alternatives, implementation of this guidance will ensure patients are prescribed medicines that are safer and more clinically effective, and cheaper.

It is an opportunity for ICBs, other commissioners and prescribing healthcare professionals to continue to improve patient outcomes and deliver value for money.

The efficiencies delivered could be used for other higher priority areas that have a greater impact on patients, support improvements in services and/or deliver NHS transformation.