Medication management in English National Health Service hospitals

J Cooke, A R Mason, M F Drummond, A 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 pound94 million ($175 million), of which drugs accounted for pound3.5 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 less than or equal to20 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 ware 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
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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