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 and prescribing measures to allow organisations to monitor prescribing and compare themselves with others.
GP prescribing formula
- Review of the Northern Ireland weighted capitation prescribing formula 2010
- Derivation of a revised NI prescribing unit to weight for patients in care homes
GP quarterly prescribing data
The business services organisation (BSO) publishes prescribing data for GP practices quarterly. For further information visit the BSO website to view the prescribing by GP practice database.
For further information visit the health & social care information centre prescribing website.
Generic prescribing and dispensing
Generic prescribing and dispensing has improved greatly in Northern Ireland in the last few years.
More information is available on the HSCB formulary website.