Medication management in English National Health Service hospitals

Jonathan Cooke, Anne R. Mason, Michael F. Drummond, Adrian K. Towse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose. The methods currently used by English National Health Service (NHS) hospitals to manage the use of medicines were studied. Methods. A questionnaire was mailed to directors of pharmacy at all English NHS hospitals in May 2001. Results. The response rate was 57% (157/ 275). Sixty-six percent of the responding hospitals provided general acute care services, and 34% provided mental health services. About 1 responder in 5 (19%) was a specialty hospital functioning either as a freestanding institution or alongside other hospitals. The average total expenditure by the hospital trusts was £94 million ($175 million), of which drugs accounted for £3.5 million ($6.5 million). Many hospitals either had formularies or were constructing them (86%), and most hospitals used a process to manage the introduction of new medicines. About three fourths of the hospitals had ≤20 pharmacist full-time equivalents. The implementation of national guidelines was variable, although some of this variation may have been due to differences in service provision. Few hospitals were actively monitoring compliance with guidelines (31%), but audits of current care were common (72%). Conclusion. A survey of English NHS hospitals provided information on pharmacy staffing, drug expenditures, and measures taken to ensure rational medication use. Copyright © 2005, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)189-195
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2005


    • Audits
    • Compliance
    • Costs
    • Data collection
    • Drug use
    • Formularies
    • Hospitals
    • National Health Service (Great Britain)
    • Pharmacists, hospital
    • Protocols
    • Rational therapy


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