Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees

As a first step towards establishing Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees (RMOC), NHS England held a workshop, on 20 April 2016, with a broad range of NHS colleagues, to begin the process of agreeing the principles which will form the foundations of the committees. The main focus of the workshop was for attendees to discuss the following key issues that will underpin the establishment of the Committees:

  • What are the principles under which the RMOCs will operate?
  • What does the governance structure look like?
  • What does the membership of the Committees look like?
  • How will the work plan be allocated?

NHS Clinical Commissioners and NHS England will be working together to take forward the establishment of the Committees. Read a write up of the discussions.

The Accelerated Access Review: Interim Report (October 2015) highlighted the need to reduce unnecessary barriers to patients receiving the medicines they need. A long held concern is how new medicines, or some new indications of existing medicines, which are not evaluated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Technology Appraisals (NICE TA) programme, are instead evaluated many times across the NHS.

NHS England has committed to achieving best value and patient outcomes from all medicines by helping to eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort from area prescribing processes, and refocus scarce resources towards implementation activities, through implementation of medicines optimisation as part of the NHS RightCare programme.

To achieve this goal, NHS England is committed to the establishment of four Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees (RMOCs), operating together as part of a single system to eliminate duplication of activities.

NHS England is committed to establishing the committees through co-production which is why we have published a discussion paper. The purpose of the paper is to test the proposals for the establishment of the four RMOCs which have been developed working with a range of stakeholders.

Dr Keith Ridge quote: “On occasion, the NHS duplicates the process of evaluating medicines, particularly those which are not evaluated by NICE. Whilst it’s important to recognize that CCGs and trusts have clinical and financial duties to deliver, it must be possible to eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort, and instead focus local expertise on optimising outcomes from medicines use. I believe the best way to eliminate duplication of medicines evaluation is to bring those activities to regional level through the establishment of four Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees. This will ensure any evaluation activity is co-ordinated, done once only, and shared across the four NHS regions.

The Committees will also be key influencers on driving improvement and optimisation of medicines use more generally. NHS England and its delivery partners are developing proposals that will underpin the operating model for Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees.