In Northern Ireland the expenditure on GP prescribed products is in the region of £444m annually relating to nearly 43m prescription items. GPs are funded for prescribing medicines to their patients based on weighted patient populations.

GP prescribing

GPs are encouraged to prescribe medicines by their generic name. This is because generic medicines are usually as effective as the branded versions, but can cost up to 80 per cent less. This frees up health service resources to pay for other treatments and it also gives the pharmacist the widest choice of products to dispense. To improve the quality and cost effectiveness of medicines management in Northern Ireland, a formulary has been developed which is a preferred list of medicines from which your GP would choose; the preferred list is on the basis of available evidence for their effectiveness and their safety.

Work in information analysis directorate (IAD) focuses on the development of resource allocation formulae to inform the allocation of prescribing budgets to local commissioning groups and general practices and development of prescribing measures to allow organisations to monitor prescribing and compare themselves with others.

GP prescribing formula and prescribing measures

GP monthly prescribing data

The business services organisation (BSO) publishes prescribing data for GP practices monthly. For further information visit the BSO website.

NI formulary

The NI Formulary Website aims to promote the safe, clinically effective and cost-effective use of medicines in Northern Ireland.


Back to top