Community pharmacy NSAID safety audit

Dr Carina Livingstone, Director, Medicines Use and SafetySource East and South East England Specialist Pharmacy ServicesPublished

NOTE: This is not the audit for the 2019/20 Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS). The 2019/20 PQS is currently being updated and will be available soon.

In 2014 a clinical audit on NSAID safety was made available across England via the PSNC and NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service. 1,278 community pharmacies took part in the audit, reporting 16,366 patients prescribed NSAIDs. The audit identified almost 3,000 patients regularly prescribed NSAIDs without any gastro-protection; many were aged over 65 so at particular risk of gastro-intestinal damage. The majority of these patients were notified to prescribers by the pharmacy for a safety review.

Inadequate prescribing of gastro-protection with NSAIDs is a common error known to cause avoidable harm. The audit illustrates how community pharmacies can help address this important safety issue.

The audit report and data collection information are given below.