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RAG criteria

Definitions and Criteria for Categorisation of Medicines

Reviews of the new medicines have been conducted by our pharmacists using a number of resources including National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which is a Special health Authority (SHA) set up in 1999. It is used to give advice to the NHS on best clinical practice including the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs and other treatments.

Definitions and Criteria for Categorisation of Medicines

Key to recommendations

Red Drugs which should be prescribed only by a specialist clinician.

Amber medicines are considered suitable for primary care prescribing following varied levels of specialist input as described below:

AMBER Recommended requires specialist assessment and recommendation to GP to prescribe in Primary Care.

AMBER Initiated requires specialist initiation of prescribing. Prescribing to be continued by the specialist until stabilisation of the dose and the patient’s condition is achieved and the patient has been reviewed.

AMBER Patient Retained requires specialist initiation of prescribing. Prescribing to be continued by specialist until stabilisation of the dose and the patient’s condition is achieved and the patient had been reviewed. Patient remains under the care of specialist (ie not discharged) as occasional specialist input may be required.

GREEN Medicines for which primary care prescribers would normally take full responsibility for prescribing and monitoring. Green status does not imply that a medicine is superior to existing first-line drugs or is a recommended formulary choice.

PURPLE Medicines are considered suitable for Primary Care prescribing and/or management, following specialist initiation of therapy, with on-going communication between the Primary Care prescriber and specialist, within the framework of a Shared Care Agreement.

BLACK Medicines not recommended for use because of lack of evidence of clinical effectiveness, cost prioritisation or concerns over safety.

GREY These medicines are still being evaluated according to local processes and a decision on whether to commission their use has not yet been made. They should not be prescribed in any setting.