Process and methods

1 Introduction

This is not the current process. From May 2013, medicines optimisation: key therapeutic topics were developed using the integrated process statement.

1.1 Introduction to interim process statement

This interim process statement has been produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to guide the development of the QIPP key therapeutics document, 'Key therapeutic topics – Medicines management options for local implementation' (hereafter referred to as the QIPP key therapeutics document). It provides an overview of the key process and principles, and describes all stages of the development of the QIPP key therapeutics document. These procedures are designed to ensure that a robust, quality-assured document is developed for the NHS in an open, transparent and timely way, with appropriate input from key groups. This interim process statement uses the NICE Implementation Support Tool process as an overarching guide to the principles of its development.

This interim process statement will be superseded when the final process guide is issued later in 2013, following engagement and discussions with key groups.

1.2 Background to the QIPP key therapeutics document

NICE is part of the NHS. NICE's evidence-based guidance and other products help resolve uncertainty about which medicines, treatments, procedures, technologies and devices represent the best quality care and offer the best value for money for the NHS. Further information about NICE and its work is available on the NICE website (

The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre provides advice and support for delivering safety, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of medicines. The Medicines and Prescribing Centre is responsible for developing the QIPP key therapeutics document, which will be published as an implementation tool.

The NICE Medicines and Prescribing Centre has been working since autumn 2010 to support the Department of Health with its QIPP medicines use and procurement work stream. QIPP is a large scale transformational programme for the NHS with national work streams designed to support the NHS to achieve a number of quality and productivity challenges. During 2011/12, the NHS made a total of £5.8 billion of QIPP savings, with £700 million associated with medicines use and prescribing. The QIPP medicines use and procurement work stream aims to ensure that value for money is further enhanced while quality of care is maintained or improved, by optimising the use of medicines. Medicines optimisation is about ensuring patients get the best possible health outcomes from their medicines, while organisations make the best use of their medicines resource. The QIPP key therapeutics document summarises the evidence base on topics identified to support the QIPP medicines use and procurement work stream. These are usually therapeutic areas where there are potential opportunities for maintaining or improving quality and improving value. Releasing resources from one area of healthcare while maintaining or improving quality of care means those resources are available, for example, for the prescribing of innovative medicines.

The Health & Social Care Information Centre (H&SCIC) is responsible for the development of QIPP prescribing comparators for these therapeutic topics. These are developed under a separate process by the H&SCIC. Not every therapeutic topic has one or more comparators. This is because of technical limitations with currently available prescribing data which on occasion precludes the production of meaningful comparators. Importantly, the QIPP key therapeutics document will not constitute formal NICE guidance and this will be clearly stated on the publication.