Processes for the Use of Medicines in NHS Grampian


The safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medicines are controlled by regulatory and advisory processes, for more information click here.

NHS Grampian recognises that there will be times when prescribers may wish to prescribe a medicine that:

  • has not received a marketing authorisation (not been licensed), 
  • is to be used in clinical circumstances outside of the marketing authorisation,
  • is licensed but is awaiting SMC advice,
  • is licensed but where SMC/Healthcare Improvement Scotland has advised the medicine should not be used in NHS Scotland.
  • is contrary to NHS Grampian's local policy. 

The processes and associated guidance describe NHS Grampian's policies for the prescribing of medicines in such circumstances, specifically prescribing of:

  • licensed non-formulary medicines
  • unlicensed medicines
  • off-label medicines
  • licensed medicines which the SMC or NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland have recommended should not be used in NHS Scotland
  • licensed medicines which are awaiting SMC or NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland guidance
  • licensed medicines for individual patients contrary to agreed local NHS Grampian policies.

NHS Grampian makes a distinction between requests to prescribe:

  • for groups of patients which normally require a submission to the Grampian Formulary Group (see group requests)
  •  for single patients where a number of different routes are available dependant on the circumstances of the request (see individual patient requests).

Guidance document

Link opens in new windowNHS Staff guidance for requests to prescribe unlicensed off-label or non-formulary medicines (including medicines awaiting consideration by or not recommended for use by the SMC) - March 2012 [PDF 284KB]

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