A National program for quality use of medicines: informing program development through comprehensive evaluation

S. E. Wutzke, J. Mandryk, N. Cockayne, L. Pont, L. Kehoe, F. Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

12 Citations (Scopus)


The National Prescribing Service (NPS) is an independent public company, working in partnership with all stakeholders with the aim of promoting Quality Use of Medicines (QUM). At establishment evaluation was recognised as a critical component to support both the strategic direction and accountability of the organisation and also provide feedback useful to the future decisions of a wide range of stakeholders, policy makers and researchers. NPS evaluation applies rigorous and multifaceted methods to measure: the process, scope and reach of activities; changes in awareness, skills and behaviour amongst target groups; changes in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS); and changes in health outcomes resulting from programs. Reflecting the multi strategic and innovative interventions adopted by NPS, the approach taken to the evaluation is broad ranging and comprehensive, constantly adapting to the changing content, complexity and scope of the organisation. A range of existing datasets are used and where no other adequate sources of information exist, for example to gauge changes in knowledge and attitudes, national surveys of target groups are undertaken. Evaluation data to date show impressive achievements: high activity across a broad range of therapeutic topics and target groups; growing awareness of organisation amongst general practitioners (GPs) (95%) and pharmacists (97%); widespread uptake of educational activities amongst GPs (80% participation in at least one activity); changes in knowledge and attitudes; changes in prescribing; and PBS savings > $1 billion. Ongoing evaluation will provide feedback essential to decisions regarding program development. Continued refinement of existing evaluation methods and further exploration of new techniques will remain a priority for the organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A226
Number of pages1
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventWorld Congress of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (8th : 2004) - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 1 Aug 20046 Aug 2004


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