Process and methods

2 Key therapeutic topics

2.1 Aims

The aim of key therapeutic topics is to inform local medicines optimisation activity. Key therapeutic topics support the implementation of NICE guidance either directly or by signposting the NHS to therapeutic evidence or prescribing practice relevant to existing guidance. Key therapeutic topics are reviewed and updated annually.

2.2 Key audiences

Key therapeutic topics are written for NHS professional staff and have the following target audiences:

  • local medicines optimisation services across all areas of the NHS

  • clinicians.

2.3 Key activities

The key activities involved in the production of key therapeutic topics are:

  • identifying, prioritising and selecting key therapeutic topics

  • summarising the best available evidence for each topic (usually NICE guidance or other 'high-level' evidence, such as recommendations from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency [MHRA], Cochrane reviews, or NICE Medicines and Prescribing Team evidence summaries or commentaries)

  • signposting to relevant prescribing metrics that support each key therapeutic topic (if these are available)

  • providing a commentary on variations shown in prescribing if relevant metrics have been identified that support the topic.