Spotlight on: new formulary to improve access to medicines for Londoners

A new pan-London list of medicines is under development to reduce variation in prescribing and help ensure patients have access to the most clinically effective, best value treatments across the capital.

The new list of medicines – or formulary - which is focusing initially on medicines for ophthalmology, is being led by the NHS LPP Medicines Optimisation & Pharmacy Procurement team with input from all London STPs, ICSs, Trusts and CCGs and from specialist ophthalmology teams from across London.

Currently, each STP, trust or CCG hosts their own locally agreed formulary of recommended medications, meaning patients accessing care across health boundaries may receive different treatments depending on where they live. Healthcare professionals working in different locations must familiarise themselves with multiple lists and each formulary is maintained and monitored separately, leading to duplication in staff time and resource across London. 

The new, pan-London ophthalmology formulary is expected to be available from the end of the financial year subject to COVID-19 developments, with further lists for other specialties to follow.

 Jas Khambh, Chief Pharmacist & Clinical Director said:

“This project is an ambitious one, but it will make a significant and positive difference for patients and the NHS in London as it progresses.  Having one list of approved and recommended treatments that all NHS organisations within London can refer to helps to reduce unwarranted variation.

“It’s becoming more common for people to be treated outside of their boundaries, either through choice or due to the need to access specialist services.  A pan-London formulary will help to ensure all patients get access to the same treatments no matter where they live or where they access services.”

For more information on the pan-London formulary contact the NHS LPP Medicines Optimisation & Pharmacy Procurement team on