Antibacterial – MO opportunities


At the end of July 2023 NHSE published guidance titled “National medicines optimisation opportunities 2023/24”. This guidance describes the 16 national medicines optimisation opportunities for the NHS in 2023/24, and signposts to resources to help with their implementation. It recommends Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) choose at least five medicines optimisation opportunities to focus and deliver on alongside their local medicines optimisation priorities. Progress against chosen opportunities will be reviewed using available data.

This report has data at SICBL, ICB and Commissioning Region level and focuses on the antibacterial MO opportunities:

  • Reducing course length of antimicrobial prescribing
  • Switching intravenous antibiotics to oral

NHS England Aims:

  • Reduce course length of antimicrobial prescribing to 5 days for specific common infections, where appropriate: sinusitis, sore throat, COPD infective exacerbation, cough (acute), pneumonia (community-acquired) and otitis media.
  • To reduce the number of patients receiving IV antibiotics past the point at which they meet the switch criteria and to reduce the proportion of IV doses.

The report is provided to NHS colleagues only, please do not share outside the NHS.

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Data period

January 2021 to December 2023

Antimicrobial prescribing across primary and secondary care

Strategic Insight reports are designed to support strategic objectives and planning by Integrated Care System leaders. Through the analysis of data and communication with key stakeholders across the ICS, interventions to be undertaken by the ICS are proposed to Integrated Care Boards or associated committees.

This report combines primary and secondary care medicines usage data for antimicrobials. It supports ICBs in the consideration of system-wide ICS medicines data for a complete overview of system prescribing.

Antibacterial drugs


This report looks at prescribing trends in primary care for antibacterial drugs at SICBL and ICB level with particular focus on prescribing volume of antibacterial agents such as cephalosporins, quinolones, macrolides and tetracyclines. Prescribing data is weighted with STAR-PU prescribing measures, and incorporates C. difficile rates and non-medical prescribing.

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Data Period

January 2021 to December 2023

Prescribing Update Newsletter – May 2022

Prescribing support newsletters aim to inform readers of work done by the unit and work in progress, to help tailor local work plans and highlight any ‘topical’ issues in prescribing or medicines management.

If you have any suggestions for future topics for the newsletter, then please contact

This month’s edition covers how the RDTC can support stakeholder organisations, our recent publications, and the prescribing support workplan. It also has features on post exposure prophylaxis for chickenpox and shingles, the national flu immunisation programme 2022-23, inadvertent oral administration of potassium permanganate, the CVD eLearning programme, WHO changes to the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, and sources of information on menopause and HRT availability.

Antimicrobial prescribing across the North of England

This bulletin provides an update on the current primary care antimicrobial prescribing trends at ICS level in the North of England. It specifically focuses on primary care prescribing, including the top 10 antibacterial drugs prescribed and the variation in the proportion of broad spectrum antibacterials prescribed across the ICSs.

Brolucizumab for wet age-related macular degeneration


New Drug Evaluations are concise, structured reviews of new drugs recently launched within the NHS. These documents seek to provide a brief overview of the efficacy, safety and cost of new drugs.

Brolucizumab is a monoclonal antibody specific for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). It is indicated for treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and is administered as an intravitreal injection every eight or 12 weeks.

Download the full review below to read more.

NICE has accredited the process used by the Regional Drug and Therapeutics Centre to produce New Drug Evaluations. Accreditation is valid until the 30th of June 2024.
For more information visit

Antibiotic use in children: liquid vs. solid oral dosage forms

This bulletin addresses cost-effective prescribing of oral antimicrobials in children without dysphagia. Liquid antimicrobial preparations are significantly more expensive than solid oral dosage forms, so the bulletin aims to
present the current prescribing patterns of antimicrobial formulations in the paediatric population on a CCG Level.

This review is older than 18 months; in view of the continued emergence of new evidence, readers are recommended to re-check the biomedical literature.

There are three versions of this publication; please select the appropriate version for your region below.