netFormulary Portsmouth and South East Hampshire NHS
Prescribing Formulary  

This formulary is a guide to the preparations available for prescribing across the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire local health economy in both primary and secondary care settings.

A joint primary and secondary care formulary has been in existence since 1998 and has since been continuously revised and developed. Changes to the formulary are agreed through the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Area Prescribing Committee based on consideration of clinical evidence, cost-effectiveness and safety. The APC has representation from NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Solent NHS Trust.

The NHS Constitution states that “You have the right to drugs and treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you.”

And “You have the right to expect local decisions on funding of other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. If the local NHS decides not to fund a drug or treatment you and your doctor feel would be right for you, they will explain that decision to you.”

All medicines that are recommended in NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance are automatically included on the formulary within 90 days of publication. The only exceptions to this would be if the recommended medicine is not going be prescribed in the local NHS, because the condition it is used for is only treated at specialist centres outside the local area.

Medicines are categorised according to suitability for prescribing in different settings. The category is decided by the Area Prescribing Committee when the medicine is added to the formulary but may be reviewed and amended at a later date.

GREEN - suitable for prescribing in primary and secondary care (unrestricted) – may be prescribed by GPs, hospital doctors or other qualified prescribers in primary and secondary care.

BLUE - for prescribing in primary care only (a small number of medicines are not used in the hospital setting)

AMBER - for initiation by a secondary care specialist after which GPs or other primary care prescribers may may take responsibility for ongoing prescribing. For some medicines there is written shared care guidance that describes the responsibilities of the specialist, the GP and the patient for managing the treatment.

RED - suitable for prescribing in secondary care only. These medicines are only prescribed in a hospital, usually because they are only used under specialist supervision e.g. chemotherapy, anaesthetics. Medicines in this category may be further restricted to use by specific hospital departments only.

Medicines not on the formulary are not stocked by Portsmouth Hospitals pharmacy. On admission to hospital the patient’s own supply may be used or an alternative formulary product may be prescribed.

Secondary care doctors are asked not to write to GPs with recommendations for non-formulary items when patients are seen in hospital clinics.

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