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Medicine Management

What is medicines management?

Patients depend on medicines to help maintain health, prevent illness, manage chronic conditions and treat disease. Medicines are an important part of what the NHS does to help patients and are a precious resource. 

Shelves containing medicinesPrescribing is the most common therapeutic intervention that takes place in the NHS.  The NHS spends £11 billion per year on drugs and 85% of this spend takes place in general practice. 

NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are responsible for the prescribing budgets of its member practices and employs its own medicines management team who work closely with the GP practices to support high quality cost effective prescribing. 

What does the medicines management team do?

The CCG has a small Medicines Management team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who work closely with GPs and local health providers to help get the best out of medicines for local people. 

The Medicines Management team uses its experience and knowledge of medicines to ensure that patients within Ipswich and east Suffolk get the medicines they need to effectively manage their condition.

As new medicines are developed and new research is published on existing drugs, medicines are constantly monitored and GPs and patients alerted to any changes. 

The Medicines Management Team supports the CCG’s aim to improve the health of the population by optimising the use of medicines through:

  • Promoting the safe, evidence based and cost-effective use of medicines
  • Providing up to date, unbiased information about medicines, treatments and care pathways
  • Supporting practitioners and patients to make best use of medicines
  • Minimising the harm caused by medicines
  • Developing local guidelines and care pathways to optimise the management of conditions
  • Collaborating with local hospital trusts and other healthcare providers to support these aims 

Clinical Oversight Group / Medicines Optimisation Group

The role of the Clinical Oversight Group (COG) is to provide clinical recommendations to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 

The group has a range of responsibilities that includes receiving, scrutinising and making recommendations on the traffic light status of new drugs or existing medications. The Traffic Light System (TLS) is a colour-coded system that provides recommendation and restriction information on the prescribing of individual drugs in primary and secondary care.  

One of the most important roles of the group is to review new drugs coming onto the market or existing drugs that have a new licensed indication, in order to make a clinical recommendation to the CCG on whether clinically the new drug should be supported. 

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Contact us

If you have concerns relating to prescribing issues, you can raise these, in the first instance, with
the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on

Tel: 0800 389 6819 or
Email: pals@suffolk.nhs.uk

Useful links

CCG Formularies - list of medicines that have been approved for prescribing locally

• Local Pharmacies - 'Think Pharmacist' when you need health advice - they are specially trained and there is no need for an appointment! 

• Self care leaflets - our Medicines Management team have developed a range of leaflets to give you advice on how best to look after yourself when you have a common illness such as coughs and colds, constipation or indigestion

Useful websites

Medicine Waste UK
Wasted or unused medicine is a serious and growing problem within the NHS that you can help tackle.

NHS Choices 
NHS Choices is the country's biggest health website and gives all the information you need to make choices about your health. 
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