Patients depend on medicines to help maintain health, prevent illness, manage chronic conditions and treat disease. Medicines are such an important part of what the NHS does to help patients and are therefore a very precious resource.
Medicines optimisation is about ensuring that the right patients, get the right choice of medicine, at the right time. By focusing on patients and their experiences, the goal is to help patients to: improve their outcomes; take their medicines correctly; avoid taking unnecessary medicines; reduce wastage of medicines; and improve medicines safety. Ultimately medicines optimisation can help encourage patients to take ownership of their treatment. Evidence, both national and international, suggests that medicines use is “sub optimal”. That is why we supported and encouraged the development of principles to support medicines optimisation. Led by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, but developed in collaboration with patients, the medical and nursing professions and the pharmaceutical industry, the principles offer a step change in the way that we think about medicines use in the NHS. NICE has also published guidance: Medicines optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes.
Evolution and development of the dashboard
The Medicines Optimisation dashboard was first launched in 2014 and since then NHS England has developed and refined the dashboard based on feedback from the people who use it. The dashboard is now being relaunched with a different look implementing learning from feedback and evaluation and also aligning with the Right Care approach. The new Medicines Optimisation dashboard will make it easier for our users to develop plans to ensure that all patients achieve the best possible outcomes from their treatment, wherever they live.
New dashboard developments include:
- A new platform based on NHS RightCare’s Instant Atlas
- Time series analysis to enable trends to be monitored
- More regular refresh of data
- New patient experience metrics
- Ability to extract visuals for use in presentations
As always, your comments and suggestions for future versions of the Medicines Optimisation dashboard can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The dashboard is presented to allow local NHS organisations to highlight variation in local practice and provoke discussion on the appropriateness of local care. It is not intended as a performance measurement tool.
- Medicines Optimisation CCG Dashboard
- Medicines Optimisation Hospital Trust Dashboard
- Medicines Optimisation Dashboard Comparators November 2016
- Medicines Optimisation Changes to Comparators for November 2016
- Medicine Optimisation background
- Medicines Optimisation Dashboard Evaluation Report
- Medicine Optimisation principles
- Specialised commissioning
- Summary of Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme Medicines Optimisation National Roadshows
NICE Guidance: The National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on medicines optimisation in March 2015. This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of all people who are using medicines and also those who are receiving suboptimal benefit from medicines.
- Medicines optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes
- NICE Pathway for Medicines Optimisation
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 Right Care 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. We expect the proposals to be established for stakeholder consideration in January 2017.
The ‘What is a biosimilar medicine?” document provides key clinical and non-clinical stakeholders with accessible information on how to support the appropriate use of all biological medicines, including biosimilar medicines for the benefit of NHS patients.
It is the first collaborative publication on biosimilar medicines at a national level and has been developed by NHS England in partnership with the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA), National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the pharmaceutical industry trade associations.
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