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Short Project Descriptions

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Nudging Hospital Prescribers to Choose the most Cost Effective Medicines


Medicine optimization is an uncontroversial but difficult goal. Medicine optimization is about ensuring the right patients get the right choice of medicine at the right time. Sub-optimal prescribing affects patient wellbeing and NHS finances. In primary care, medication waste costs approximately £300 million per year. In secondary care, adverse drug reactions cost up to £466 million per year. Hospitals and general practices make up the majority of NHS prescribing. In 2015/16 hospital costs accounted for 45.2% of total costs, general practice costs accounted for 53.9%, and community care accounted for the remaining 0.9%.

Policy and Practice Partners:

University Hospitals Birmingham Pharmacy Department.

Nottingham University Hospitals Pharmacy Department.

Co-Funding partners:

Health Foundation

Aims and Objectives:

Aim: Our project intends to optimize healthworkers’ medication prescribing and use choices with light-touch, low-cost interventions, i.e., nudges.


1. Identify behavioural barriers to sub-optimal prescribing in NHS hospital settings

2. Develop nudge interventions to overcome identified barriers

3. Evaluate nudge interventions


Stakeholder interviews are used to identify behavioural barriers, and co-produce interventions to overcome those barriers. The nudges are evaluated as service evaluations using regularly collected hospital data, e.g., the number of times specific prescriptions are issued.

Main Results:

The projects are on-going





Implications for Implementation:

Lowering the cost of medicines



Not published.



None to date.

Mon 13 Sep 2021, 14:09 | Tags: Ivo Vlaev Organisational Science