Welcome to the Medicines Optimisation website

This website is maintained by North of England Commissioning Support Medicines Optimisation Team and contains medicines information guidelines and resources to support safe, effective and good value medicines use in primary care in North East and Cumbria CCGs.

Cold Chain Guidance 2017

The cold chain guidance for immunisation providers commissioned by NHS England Cumbria and North East Region has been reviewed and updated. The guidance first issued in 2015 now includes more advice relating to temperature monitoring, especially the use of data loggers. It also contains a key points section at the beginning which can be used as an aid memoire. However, please ensure that all staff responsible for cold chain maintenance are familiar with the whole document.


MHRA Drug Safety Update May 2017

A new Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Drug Safety Update (vol 10, issue 10, May 2017) has been published and includes articles on:

  • Finasteride: rare reports of depression and suicidal thoughts;
  • New e-learning modules on reporting suspected adverse drug reactions; and
  • Letters sent to healthcare professionals in April 2017, including reminder of retigabine (Trobalt) withdrawal.

Model Repeat Prescribing System

Can we help you save staff time, save on your practice prescribing budget AND keep patients safer than ever? Try out the new NECS Model Repeat Prescribing System from the Prescribing Processes workstream. This comprehensive resource is packed full of practical ideas, designed to help you and your practice develop robust, safe and efficient procedures. It brings together Continue Reading »

Update to antibiotic guidelines

The North East and Cumbria antimicrobial prescribing guideline for primary care and quick reference guideline have been updated in line with new guidance from Public Health England around treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and use of antibiotics in pregnancy.

Nitrofurantoin is now recommended as first line antibiotic for treatment of lower urinary tract infections in adults.

In pregnancy, if possible, avoid tetracyclines, quinolones, aminoglycosides, azithromycin, clarithromycin, high dose metronidazole (2g stat) unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Erythromycin is now the recommended treatment of acute sore throat in pregnancy in penicillin allergic patients.