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.

At the PMA we pride ourselves on the understanding that one size doesn’t fit all and – therefore, we have various formats of our workshops and can adapt any programme / agenda to suit your local needs and necessaries – so, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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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


Welcome & Introduction
Exercise – what do attendees wish to learn from the day?
Cost effective prescribing

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

  • Lifecycle of a prescription
Generic vs branded

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • How to change clinical practice
  • Barriers to change
  • Overcoming the barriers to change

  • Audits to support cost effective prescribing
Action Plans
Summary and Q&A
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Contact the PMA now

If you would like more information about any of our workshops, the timings or adapting our programmes to your local needs / requirements, please call 0330 111 6459 or email

Please note that all workshops are delivered online as web workshop sessions – however, if you require face to face workshops, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss this.

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