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The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group: 18 years' experience of a national medicines optimisation committee

Haines, Kathryn, Bracchi, Robert, Lang, Ruth, Samuels, Karen and Routledge, Philip A. 2021. The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group: 18 years' experience of a national medicines optimisation committee. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 87 (10) , pp. 3961-3970. 10.1111/bcp.14817

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Aims To review the medicines optimisation activities of the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG), a committee established in 2002 to advise the Welsh Government on “all matters related to prescribing”. Although AWMSG conducts other activities (e.g., health technology appraisal for medicines), we focus here on its role in advising on medicines optimisation. Methods Prescribing indicators have been used in Wales to measure change, together with data on volumes and costs of medicines dispensed. A range of improvement strategies have been categorised under the “four Es”, namely educational initiatives, economic incentives, “engineering” and “enforcement”. Results AWMSG has helped health professionals in NHS Wales to reduce harm and waste, and to reduce inappropriate local or regional duplication and variation. Specific initiatives include the achievement of major cost savings by supporting increased generic prescribing and an “invest to save” approach related to prescribing of hypnotics and tranquillisers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and proton pump inhibitors. AWMSG also successfully commissioned the introduction of a single national in-patient medication chart for Wales in 2004. Ongoing priorities include a focus on reducing prescribing of certain medicines deemed “low value for prescribing” and on optimising the use of biosimilar medicines. Conclusions Since 2002, AWMSG has acted as a national medicines optimisation committee in Wales. From the outset, pharmacists and clinical pharmacologists have collaborated closely and shared their complementary expertise to make a much greater contribution to the safe, effective and cost-effective use of medicines than either group could have achieved by working separately.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: British Pharmacological Society
ISSN: 0306-5251
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 June 2021
Date of Acceptance: 25 February 2021
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2021 13:53

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