In the UK £20 billion is spent each year on NHS medicines to treat and prevent disease. Information about medicines is not routinely linked to disease information. If linked, we could understand how medicines are used and how well or poorly we are treating diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic health care was disrupted due to increased demands on the NHS. Many long-term conditions and emergency health problems were not diagnosed or treated. The harm of missing these will impact the health of the nation for the foreseeable future.
To address this we aim to combine medicines data, link this to health outcomes and create a medicines dashboard across the UK. This will help us to understand changes to clinical pathways during COVID-19.
1.To use available linked data: general practice (GP) data on medicines, GP data on disease, hospital data on disease.
2.To add and link medicines data from hospitals
3.To create a medicines dashboard to display data across the UK and assess how well or poorly clinical pathways are functioning
4.To make the medicines dashboard available to agencies to enable them to improve health care delivery and patient outcomes
5.To use the dashboard to investigate how medicines use has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and answer medicines related COVID-19 research questions
The public health benefits include monitoring change of medicines use, targeting treatments to high risk or neglected groups, ensuring equity of access, assessing value for money, informing guidance on the use of medicines and capturing harms linked to medicines. If continued the medicines dashboard can be embedded within health care agencies for ongoing benefit.