Project Description

Prescribing is the most common intervention involving patients in the NHS and as such is the second highest area of spending in the NHS, after staffing.

Statistics from NHS Digital show that in 2016 there were 1,104.1 million items dispensed, an increase of 1.9% or 20.5 million additional items compared with 2015. This was at a cost to the NHS of £9,204.9 million. With increasing numbers of prescriptions, it is imperative that prescribing is cost effective to provide the best value for money for NHS resources whilst also meeting the clinical needs of the patient.

  • Duration: All day

  • Location: On-site/locally

Who should attend?

Don't miss opportunity to work with leading specialists in a series of full day workshops specifically focused on the ‘business’ aspects of General Practice.
  • GPs

  • NMPs

  • Practice Nurses


After undertaking the training, learners will:

  • Have an increased awareness of what cost-effective prescribing means
  • Be able to identify and prevent potential medicines waste
  • Be able to identify medicines which provide low value or should have restricted prescribing
  • Have knowledge of how to access and interpret their prescribing data
  • Be able to suggest drug categories and the associated clinical guidance that should be audited in general practice to promote quality and cost-effective prescribing
  • Have developed an action plan that can be implemented in their workplace
  • Be able to identify barriers to change in prescribing habits and have considered how to overcome these

Successful and safe cost-effective prescribing is reliant on the following principles:

  • Robust protocols for prescribing agreed by both clinical and non-clinical staff, which clearly outline the responsibilities of each and when escalation to a clinical member of the team is required
  • A commitment from the whole team to cost effective prescribing
  • Continuing audit of prescribing activity, with feedback and education


09.15 Registration & Coffee
09.30 Welcome & Introduction
09.40 Icebreaker
09.50 Exercise – what do attendees wish to learn from the day?
10.00 Cost effective prescribing

  • What is cost effective prescribing?
  • Strategies to achieve cost effective prescribing
10.10 Why does paracetamol cost significantly more on prescription?

  • Lifecycle of a prescription
10.25 Generic vs branded

  • Key examples
  • Active isomers of established drugs (“Pro Drugs”)
10.45 Should some medicines not be prescribed?

  • Blacklisted medicines
  • ACBS
  • RAG list
  • Food supplements
  • Low value medicines
11.15 BREAK
11.30 Medicines waste

  • How big is the problem of medicines waste?
  • The process of ordering repeat prescriptions
  • ‘When required’ items
  • Automatics
  • ‘Underground economy’
12.00 Prescription Cost Analysis

  • Top 20 drugs by volume
  • Top 20 drugs by net ingredient cost
  • Trends
  • Local data
12.30 ePACT2  

  • Overview
  • How to access ePACT2
  • Volume measures
  • Cost measures
  • Patient denominators
13.00 LUNCH
13.45 Cost effective prescribing by BNF categories

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Antibacterials
  • Ulcer healing drugs
  • NSAIDs including COX2 inhibitors
  • ACEi and ARBs
  • Statins
  • Oral anticoagulants
  • Bisphosphonates
15.00 Barriers and challenges

  • How to change clinical practice
  • Barriers to change
  • Overcoming the barriers to change
15.15 BREAK
15.30 Audit

  • Audits to support cost effective prescribing
15.45 Action Plans
16.00 Questions
16.15 Summary
 16.30  Close
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