Medicines optimisation

Did you know?

  • One quarter of the population has a long-term condition
  • One quarter of people over 60 have two or more long-term conditions
  • With an ageing population, the use of multiple medicines (known as polypharmacy) is increasing
  • Between 30-50% of medicines prescribed for long-term conditions are not taken as intended

Taken from: NICE: Medicines Optimisation Quality Standard

Medicines optimisation looks at the value which medicines deliver, making sure they are clinically-effective and cost-effective. It is about ensuring people get the right choice of medicines, at the right time, and are engaged in the process by their clinical team.

This graphic shows how this works:

Improved patient outcomes. Principle 1: Aim to understand the patient's experience. Principle 2: Evidence based choice of medicines. Patient-centred approach. Principle 3: Ensure medicines use is as safe as possible. Principle $; Make medicines optimisation part of routine practice. Aligned measurement and monitoring of medicines optimisation.

Medicines optimisation explained

The goal of medicines optimisation is to help patients to:

  • improve their outcomes;
  • take their medicines correctly;
  • avoid taking unnecessary medicines;
  • reduce wastage of medicines;
  • and improve medicines safety.

NHS England supports the Royal Pharmaceutical Society guidance Medicines Optimisation: helping patients make the most of medicines, which has been developed in collaboration with patients, the medical and nursing professions and the pharmaceutical industry.

NICE has also published guidance: Medicines optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes.

Find out more

Get more information on medicines optimisation: