In 2016 Willowbrook Hospice had to make the change to an alternative supplier of drugs and drug costs increased substantially. This additional cost is picked up by the CCGs commissioning services from the hospice.
This resulted in a review of prescribing in the inpatient unit and outpatient clinics. Medical and nursing staff were quite often unaware of the cost of medications and prescribing was driven by what was familiar or in stock. We found that there were significant potential cost savings that could be made through better management of stock, brand and cost effective prescribing.
This poster describes the development of a hospice formulary and the initial impact of this on prescribing patterns and costs.
The first chapter of the formulary covered laxative prescribing – this has resulted in a 70% reduction in cost each month amounting to approximately £7000 per year. This has been achieved without any adverse impact on patients.
Further chapters on opioids and gastrointestinal medications are about to be added and we intend to continue this development alongside better education for staff on cost effective prescribing.
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