Process and methods

1 Introduction

1.1 Introduction to integrated process statement

This integrated process statement relates to the document 'Medicines optimisation: key therapeutic topics' (hereafter referred to as key therapeutic topics). It has been produced to explain how key therapeutic topics are developed. It provides an overview of the key process and principles, and describes all stages of the development of key therapeutic topics. These procedures are designed to ensure that a robust, quality-assured document is developed in an open, transparent and timely way, with appropriate input from key groups. This process statement uses the NICE Implementation Support Tool process as an overarching guide to the principles of its development.

1.2 Background to key therapeutic topics

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. Further information about NICE and its work is available on the NICE website.

The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Team provides advice and support for delivering safety, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of medicines. The Medicines and Prescribing Team is responsible for developing key therapeutic topics, which are published as implementation tools.

The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Team develops key therapeutic topics in collaboration with NHS England's Medicines Value/Medicines Optimisation Programme. Medicines optimisation is defined as 'a person-centred approach to safe and effective medicines use, to ensure people obtain the best possible outcomes from their medicines. Medicines optimisation applies to people who may or may not take their medicines effectively. Shared decision-making is an essential part of evidence-based medicine, seeking to use the best available evidence to guide decisions about the care of the individual patient, taking into account their needs, preferences and values'.

The key therapeutic topics are selected and prioritised therapeutic areas where there are potential opportunities for maintaining or improving quality and improving value from our use of medicines. Releasing resources from one area of health care while maintaining or improving quality of care means those resources are available for use elsewhere, for example, the prescribing of innovative medicines.

The selection of metrics to support these topics is overseen by the NHS England Medicines Optimisation Intelligence Group, and, if suitable, are included in the Medicines Optimisation Dashboard. Importantly, key therapeutic topics do not constitute formal NICE guidance and this is clearly stated on the publication.