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Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care

This ‘Items not for routine prescribing’ dashboard is based on guidelines for an initial list of 18 treatments, drawn up with family doctors and pharmacists, which fall into one or more of these categories:

  • products of low clinical effectiveness, where there is a lack of robust evidence of clinical effectiveness or there are significant safety concerns
  • products which are clinically effective but where more cost effective products are available, including some products that have been subject to excessive price inflation
  • products which are clinically effective but due to the nature of the product are deemed a low priority for NHS funding

In most cases there are other more effective, safer or cheaper alternatives available to the treatments that NHS England is recommending should not be routinely prescribed in primary care.

The guidance is intended to support Sub-ICB Locations (SICBLs) in fulfilling their duties around appropriate use of prescribing resources - in decision-making, addressing unwarranted variation, and providing clear national advice to make local prescribing practices more effective.

Interpretation of the reports and data

The reports show the prescribing of products split by the 18 medicine categories, with data collated over the selected time period.

View the guidance on items that should not routinely be prescribed. The data for each medicine category should be interpreted alongside the recommendations for each item.

Please note that wherever patient figures are reported, a single patient may appear in the counts for multiple different medicines.

Sub-ICB Locations (SICBLs) (previously CCG) demographic impact assessment

View our Patient Demographic data by CCG (Excel: 1.9MB).

Includes details for a number of different drug collections showing the number of patients who have been prescribed particular medicines. Within each of the datasets the values have been grouped by patient age/gender.

If you're registered, you can access the ‘Items not for routine prescribing’ dashboard via ePACT2.