Medicines Optimisation

How patients use medicines over time

30 Zen

Medicines optimisation helps the right patients to get the right medicines at the right time. It examines how patients may stop or start their medicines, how they use them over time and how lifestyle changes or non-medical therapies might reduce the need for medicines.

This approach helps patients get the best outcomes from their medicines, and pharmacists across the NHS play a crucial role in supporting it.

By focusing on patients and their experiences, medicines optimisation helps patients to:

  • Improve their outcomes
  • Take their medicines correctly
  • Avoid taking unnecessary medicines
  • Reduce wastage of medicines and improve medicines safety.

Ultimately, medicines optimisation encourages patients to take ownership of their treatment.

Unlike medicines' management, it focuses on outcomes and patients rather than process and systems. This focus on improved outcomes for patients helps ensure that patients and the NHS get better value from the investment in medicines.

Download our good practice guidance document on medicines optimisation Helping patients make the most of their medicines

First Published: 26 October 2016
Updated: 01 October 2021

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