NSAID safety audit 2018-19

Dr Carina Livingstone, Director, Medicines Use and SafetyPublished

NOTE: This audit closed for the Quality Payments Scheme in February 2019. The updated audit for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2019-20 is available here 

Adverse effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including cyclo-oxygenase-2 selective inhibitors are a frequent cause of hospital admissions which are potentially preventable. The aim of this audit is to reduce preventable patient harm from adverse effects of NSAIDs. The audit links directly to the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge ‘Medication Without Harm’. The goal of the WHO Challenge on Medication Safety is to reduce the level of severe, avoidable harm related to medications by 50% over 5 years.

The audit was included in the 2018-19 Quality Payments Scheme (Quality Criteria – Patient Safety). It was built from a previous clinical audit of NSAID safety where community pharmacists referred over 2,000 patients for review of NSAID use and gastro-protection.

A report of this national 2018-19 audit has been published: 9,825 community pharmacies collected data on 91,252 patients and referred 9,222 for review of NSAID use and gastro-protection.