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.

Valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme

The MHRA has determined that valproate medicines should now be contraindicated in women & girls of childbearing potential unless the conditions of a new Pregnancy Prevention Programme are met. The April 2018 edition of the MHRA Drug Safety Update includes the following advice for healthcare professionals: GPs must identify and recall all women and girls who may be Continue Reading »

New Guide to Prescribing Specials

The NECS MO Quality and Governance group recently approved a comprehensive guide to the use of pharmaceutical specials in primary care. The guide includes general advice on governance issues – including establishing special need, sharing decision making and making arrangements for monitoring & review – as well as practical tips – such as where to find information on Continue Reading »

MHRA Warning – Watch out for look-alikes & sound-alikes

The MHRA have recently highlighted the dangers associated with medicines with look-alike or sound-alike names – including cases with fatal outcomes, in which patients received the wrong medicine due to confusion between similar names. Drugs pairs known to have been linked to errors include: Clobazam / Clonazepam; Atenolol / Amlodipine; Propranolol / Prednisolone; Risperidone / Ropinirole; Sulfadiazine / Sulfasalazine and Continue Reading »

Reducing Medication-Related Harm

The Department of Health and Social Care have published a Short Life Working Group report on reducing medication-related harm. The report, which was informed by a review of the evidence on medication errors in England produced by the Policy Research Unit in Economic Evaluation of Health and Care Interventions (EEPRU), makes recommendations for a programme of work to tackle medication error Continue Reading »

Medicines Use and Safety Update – March 2018

The Medicines Use and Safety Division of the Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) have published a March 2018 update on the SPS website with information on a range of topics, including: Recent Resources Collaborative Audits Work in Progress Network Events Publications The Network Events section includes details of a forthcoming meeting dedicated to Delivering the WHO “Medication With Out Harm” Patient Safety Continue Reading »