Prescribing measures
and their applications

Related NPC links

External links



Prescribing measures and their applications

NPC legacy site


Although no new Medicines and prescribing content will be published to the NPC legacy website, the extensive catalogue of existing publications, resources and e-learning materials will still be available to view and download for as long as the information contained within them remains accurate and up-to-date. All future Medicines and prescribing outputs will be published on the NICE website and signposted from the Medicines and prescribing homepage.

The learning resources on this page describe the tools and resources available to measure and monitor prescribing cost and volume relative to different populations. Although they relate to primary care prescribing in England, many of the principles will be applicable to other contexts.

Who are these resources for?
These resources are not only for prescribing advisors or medicines management teams who are involved day to day with prescribing in primary care. They are also for those for whom prescribing forms an element of their work or who need to consider prescribing information provided for them, including GPs, non-medical prescribers, finance staff and commissioners.

What are the learning outcomes?
After working through these learning resources, we hope you will be able to:

  • explain how measures of prescribing cost and volume and patient population are derived and calculated and understand their strengths and limitations
  • explain which measure or measures are appropriate to support review or answer questions relating to local prescribing medicine use
  • interpret and evaluate prescribing information through a better understanding of prescribing information
  • effectively develop or use prescribing indicators and comparators relating to local situations
  • describe the national prescribing indicators and comparators which are available, know where to find them and understand their usefulness and limitations

What do these learning resources consist of?
We have prepared a recording of PowerPoint slides with audio commentary, split into six parts of 10 to 20 minutes each. The speakers are from Prescribing and Primary Care Services (Health and Social Care Information Centre), and the NPC.

After you have listened to the recording, you can check your understanding by attempting a short quiz. You will be given a score at the end, which you can print out and keep for your CPD records

There is also a glossary of prescribing terms for easy reference.

The learning resources can be accessed via the menu on the left-hand side of the page. There are also links to other resources and websites which you may find useful.