Regional Group on Specialist Medicines

The Regional Group on Specialist Medicines is a sub-committee of the NI Medicines Management Forum of HSCB. The Group’s membership represents Health and Social Care Board, the Department of Health, Public Health Agency, the five HSC Trusts, Local Medical Committees, Community Pharmacy NI, and the Patient and Client Council.

The focus of the Group is on the safety aspects of prescribing, supply and administration of specialist medicines relative to their management in secondary care, primary care or jointly.It is also responsible for:

  • Ongoing review of local Red (hospital only) and Amber (shared care) medicines management arrangements and the utilization of this categorization to emerging therapies.
  • Horizon scanning to identify emerging specialist medicines and undertake adjudication as a medicine comes to market.
  • Informing a regional approach to the establishment and introduction of Red/Amber list ensuring comparability across Northern Ireland.
  • Recommending a process for the prescribing, dispensing and administration of specialist medicines into the service taking account of the need to ensure high quality patient care and the professional and medico-legal implication of any recommendations made.
  • Considering, and commissioning as necessary, the development and review of shared care arrangements for specialist medicines classified as Amber.

This helps ensure:
• Safer systems, with the responsibility for prescribing specialised medicines lying with the most appropriate practitioner.
• Better communication between primary and secondary care leading to better working relationships and enhanced patient care.
• Consistency in approach across Northern Ireland.