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Monday 24th June 2019

NICE welcomes National Prescribing Centre

1st April 2011

From today (1 April), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will take over the functions of the National Prescribing Centre (NPC), the organisation responsible for helping the NHS to optimise its use of medicines.

The NPC's activities will be retained and will become part of a new work programme within NICE's Evidence and Practice Directorate, which is led by NICE Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Gillian Leng.

The merger was approved by the Department of Health last October as part of its plans to restructure the NHS.

Dr Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive of NICE said: "The NPC and NICE already share a history of working closely together in helping ensure medicine usage across the NHS is high quality, safe and good value for money. This integration is an exciting opportunity for us to build on the important work that we both do in all aspects of medicines management and will further strengthen access to medicines information through NHS Evidence. I would like to warmly welcome all NPC colleagues into the NICE family."

Neal Maskrey, former Director of Evidence-Based Therapeutics at the NPC and now Programme Director of the NPC at NICE said: "Being part of NICE will provide an even stronger alignment of outputs and expertise.

"Within NICE, we intend that our work programme will continue to help health professionals make the best use of medicines to produce informed and desired outcomes for patients, especially in this changing NHS environment."

The NPC publishes a wide range of resources (including e-learning) and arranges activities and events to support and promote evidence-based medicines management across the NHS, to help improve patient care and service delivery. It was formed in 1996 by the Department of Health. The programme employs 34 people who are based in Liverpool.

Key areas of the NPC's work include:

  • MeReC bulletins, which provides concise, evidence-based information about a variety of medicines and prescribing. These can inform practice, update professional knowledge and support planning.
  • Providing information for health professionals to support the managed introduction of newly licensed or marketed medicines (i.e. where there is not yet NICE guidance).
  • Offering advice and support to non-medical prescribers (e.g. pharmacists, nurses and optometrists), accountable officers for controlled drugs and those supporting local decisions about medicines in line with the NHS Constitution (e.g. individual funding requests).
  • NPC Facilitators - encourages members of prescribing and medicines management teams across the country to interact and share examples of best practice.
    Publishing reports to support best practice in how medicines are managed. Recent reports cover commissioning, medicines reconciliation (ensuring patients' medication histories are accurate and up to date) and personalising medicines management.


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