NHS Pharmacy aseptic services in England provide sterile controlled environments for the preparation of injectable medicines into Ready to Administer (RtA) formats for patients. Although not highly visible to patients, £3.84 billion is spent on injectable medicines across the NHS in England each year. Services are subject to high levels of regulatory control and quality assurance. Products include chemotherapy, injectable nutrition and clinical trials for new medicines. This has the potential to release nursing time for care, improve patient safety and support more patient care closer to home.
Pharmacy aseptic services are an essential cornerstone of many critical NHS services. They make the chemotherapy that treats cancer patients, the intravenous feed that keeps very sick children and those with intestinal failure alive and the innovative medicines that target complex diseases.
The report was commissioned by the Minister of State for Health to provide advice to the government and NHS England and Improvement (NHSE-I), to regional, system, and trust pharmacy leads, as well as independent sector aseptic pharmacy providers.
This report recommends investment in hubs to produce aseptic injectable medicines in England in order to create high volumes of aseptic pharmacy products which will:
- save time for nursing staff
- enable care closer to home
- produce significant savings.