Managing medicines: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Sunday, July 11, 2021

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Explain the concept of medicines optimisation.
  • Recognise the different types of guideline you will encounter as a pharmacist. 
  • Identify the role for a local formulary, NICE and other methods for managing the introduction of new medicines.
  • Outline some reasons for medicines shortages and the role of commissioning in affecting how patients have access to certain medicines.

You should allow 120 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning exercises.


This tutorial is aimed at hospital trainee pharmacists, and will help you achieve GPhC learning outcomes such as these:

  • LO 12 Take an all-inclusive approach to ensure the most appropriate course of action based on clinical, legal and professional considerations
  • LO 14 Work collaboratively and effectively with other members of the multi-disciplinary team to ensure high-quality, person-centred care, including continuity of care
  • LO 16 Apply professional judgement in all circumstances taking legal and ethical reasoning into account
  • LO 29 Apply the principles of clinical therapeutics, pharmacology and genomics to make effective use of medicines for people [including in their prescribing practice]
  • LO 30 Appraise the evidence base and apply clinical reasoning and professional judgement to make safe and logical decisions which minimise risk and and optimise outcomes for the person
  • LO 31 Critically evaluate and use national guidelines and clinical evidence to support safe, rational and cost-effective procurement  for the use, and prescribing (by others) of medicines, devices and services 
  • LO 41 Effectively make use of local and national health and social care policies to improve health outcomes and public health, and to address health inequalities

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may help you meet competencies from the RPS framework including:

  • 1.6 Uses own pharmaceutical knowledge to positively impact the usage and stewardship of medicines at an individual and population level.
  • 2.5 Supports and facilitates the seamless continuity of care for each individual.
  • 3.7 Takes the cost-effectiveness of a decision into account where necessary, working to the appropriate formulary.
  • 5.4 Works with other members of the multidisciplinary team to support them in the safe use of medicines and to meet the individual needs of those receiving care; effectively influences the decision-making process across the team regarding medicines, where appropriate.

Continuing professional development

There are lots of activities that we've suggested within the body of this tutorial that you could write up as a CPD exercise.