Process and methods

2 Evidence summaries

2.1 Aims

Evidence summaries aim to:

  • review the best available evidence on the use of 1¬†or several medicines for a specific indication in the context of other national guidance, which reduces duplication of effort at a national, regional or local level

  • provide consistent access to the best available information to guide national, regional or local decision making and planning

  • inform healthcare professional decision making.

2.2 Audience

Evidence summaries inform decision making for:

  • groups involved in:

    • national, regional or local commissioning or funding services using medicines (such as NHS England, Public Health England, regional medicines optimisation committees, local area prescribing committees, clinical commissioning groups [CCGs], NHS trusts or local health economies)

    • developing medicines optimisation policies

    • individual funding requests, for example, within a CCG or NHS trust

  • healthcare professionals caring for and making decisions with patients.

Evidence summaries may also be of interest to patients and the public, to help inform treatment choices.

2.3 Process steps

The process includes:

  • scoping the topic when identified or commissioned (see section 5)

  • identifying and selecting the best available evidence for the topic

  • summarising the selected evidence

  • critically reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the selected evidence

  • advising on the place in therapy and, when applicable, agreeing an advisory statement

  • highlighting any potential implications for decision making or clinical practice

  • advising on resource impact, when applicable.