NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.

This quality standard covers the safe and effective use of medicines for all people who take medicines, including people who are receiving suboptimal benefit from medicines.

It does not cover aspects of managing medicines specific to care home settings because this is covered by the NICE quality standard on medicines management in care homes (QS85). For more information see the medicines optimisation topic overview.