This page contains a selection of resources that health care professionals may find helpful when undertaking medication review

About the resources

Health care professionals may find these resources helpful during the management of polypharmacy and overprescribing.

Choosing Wisely UK initiative

The Choosing Wisely UK initiative was launched by teh Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in 2016 to promote shared decision making conversations between clinician and patient using four questions. It supports identification of tests, treatments and procedures of limited value to ensure appropriateness.

Choosing Wisely UK

Department of Health and Social Care

This review identifies system and culture changes required to optimise treatment, including non-pharmacological options, for patients according to need while maximising effective use of time and money.

National review of overprescribing

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

This NICE guideline relates to medicines use in health and social care, and promotes medication reconciliation, review and use of patient decision aids to optimise safety and efficacy of medicines-related treatment.

Medicine Optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes

Realistic Medicine

This document focusses on values-based conversations to plan and agree care between patients and those working in health and social care to develop a shared understanding of healthcare and plan and agree care for the recipient of that care.

Realistic Medicines Scotland

Rethinking Medicine

This is a collaborative initiative improving how medicine supports better health and healthcare in England giving access to programmes which help clinicians to develop more person-centred relationships and provide individualised care for patients.

Rethinking Medicine

RPS Polypharmacy Guidance

This is an aspirational document that identifies the need for all prescribers to consider the consequences of prescribing for those already taking multiple medicines and promotes person-centred conversations with patients, using shared decision making to support people to make the most of the medicines they choose to take.

Polypharmacy – Getting our medicines right

The King’s Fund report

This report introduced the terms “appropriate” and “problematic” polypharmacy in order to separate the potential benefit of multiple medicines from potential harm. It offers a review of the occurrence of polypharmacy in different care sector, explore systems for management in complex care of older people and makes recommendations for improving care.

Polypharmacy and Medicines Optimisation

World Health Organisation

Formally launched in 2017, as part of the third WHO global patient safety challenge, this document identifies the huge financial and human cost of medication errors which can occur at any stage of a medicines-related journey, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. It proposes solutions to ensuring medicines are given without harm.

Medication Without Harm

Update history

  1. Link updated to King's Fund report.
  1. Published

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