Medicines optimisation dashboard

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.

Over the years, much work has been done to ensure medicines-use is evidence based and cost effective. To date, there has been a focus on prescribing data (drug cost and volume) relating to drug choice and prescribing. However, relatively little work has been done outside of the academic setting on how well patients are supported to get the best from their medicines.

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.

Medicines optimisation is about ensuring that the right patients get the right choice of medicine, at the right time. And 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.

NHS England is working with patients, the pharmaceutical industry, royal colleges and others to encourage a range of improvements aimed at ensuring that patients get the support they need to get the most from their medicines.

Improving medicines optimisation

Further to the first full revision of the medicines optimisation dashboard launched in May 2015, we have published a full refresh of the dashboard data that we hope will further help CCGs to understand how well their local populations are being supported, to optimise medicines use and inform local planning.

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.

Further dashboard revisions will be planned on an annual basis and the data refreshed every 3 months.

As this is ongoing work, we welcome any feedback. Your comments and suggestions for future iterations can be sent to

This dashboard is being developed as part of the wider PPRS/Medicines Optimisation Programme, a joint programme of action by NHS England and the ABPI with the full support of Government through the Ministerial Industry Strategy Group. The primary aim of the programme is to improve patient outcomes, quality and value from medicine use, guided by the principles of medicines optimisation, and to create a clinical pull to accelerate the optimal use of innovative, clinical and cost effective medicines which maximises the benefits of the PPRS Agreement.

For more details, see Medicines Optimisation (MO) Prototype Dashboard below and link to background information.

More information

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.