Medicines Optimisation

Medicines are the most common health intervention in the world today and the NHS spends a growing share of its budget on buying them.

It is vital to the sustainability of the health service that medicines are managed responsibly and equitably.

We aim to optimise the use of medicines by promoting cost-effective and evidence-based clinical practice and effective risk management to make sure patients get the right medicine at the right time.

We make sure patients get the most from their medicines – take them correctly, avoid taking unnecessary medicines, improve safety, and reduce wastage.

NHS Kent and Medway has a Medicines Optimisation Team who advise on the prescribing and safe supply of medicines. The team works closely with GP practices, hospitals, community pharmacies, other local health providers and voluntary sector organisations across Kent and Medway.

NHS Kent and Medway has developed a governance system for medicines optimisation that supports the ICB medicines optimisation strategy. This structure makes sure there is accountability for medicines optimisation.

The primary aim of the Integrated Medicines Optimisation Committee (IMOC) is to provide oversight to deliver a shared medicines optimisation vision for improving population health, preventing ill health, reducing health inequalities, and promoting physical and mental health and wellbeing across Kent and Medway.

The committee meets every other month. The minutes from each meeting will be uploaded here once they have been approved as a true recording of the meeting. We aim to upload them within two weeks of the meeting once approved.

Terms of reference

Minutes from Thursday, 21 December 2023 meeting 

Minutes from Thursday, 19 October 2023 meeting 

Minutes from Thursday, 17 August 2023 meeting 

Minutes from Thursday, 6 July 2023 meeting 

Minutes from Thursday, 20 April 2023 meeting 

Minutes from Wednesday, 16 February 2023 meeting

Minutes from Wednesday, 14 December 2022 meeting

Please see below links to the Kent and Medway prescribing formularies. These contain lists of medicines approved for prescribing within each of the health and care partnership areas within Kent and Medway. The formularies also provide links to approved prescribing recommendations and guidelines.

All material in these formularies is for health professionals, but it is information currently held within the public domain. Members of the public seeking advice on medicine-related matters are encouraged to speak with their GP, pharmacist or nurse, or contact the NHS 111 service.

Within our new Kent and Medway ICB medicines optimisation governance process, we have started work on developing a single Kent and Medway formulary which will be available on this page in the future.

West Kent – Formulary (

East Kent – East Kent Prescribing Formulary (

Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley – Formulary (

Medway and Swale – Formulary (

In 2022/23, NHS Kent and Medway spent more than £18million on medications for self-limiting, short-term
illnesses and minor conditions that could potentially be bought over the counter (OTC).

NHS Kent and Medway is committed to delivering the best value to patients by ensuring we use our resources well. Therefore, to help support implementation and ensure cost effective, evidence-based use of medicines, NHS Kent and Medway does not support the prescribing of items available OTC for self-care.

This is in line with the NHS England guidelines for conditions for which over-the-counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care. More details are available in this position statement

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