Ashtons launches guidance on cost effective prescribing for palliative care

27 June, 2023

Our new guide is broken down into prescribing areas with a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) rating provided for guidance

Instability in the UK drug market is currently driving marked changes in drug pricing. It is therefore important that hospices ensure that their medicines optimisation strategies to achieve cost-effective prescribing satisfy the following criteria:

  • Appropriate use of deprescribing tools satisfy clinical need and ensure patient safety
  • Reduce wastage whereby formularies are regularly reviewed, and items listed are not automatically replaced on expiry
  • Formularies are streamlined to reflect items in common use rather than catering to all indications
  • Secure best value for money from hospice budgets

Ashtons analyse and compare hospice drug spend for our clients on a quarterly basis and provide this data in an anonymised format which can be used to evaluated current practice and aid formulary review.

The information in the guide is broken down into prescribing areas and a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) rating is provided for guidance where Green is the most cost effective and Red the least cost effective. We recognise that variations may be needed for individual patients.

Areas covered include:

  • Pain control and syringe driver diluents
  • Gastric symptom control
  • Symptom control

If you are an existing Ashtons client, you can access the guide by emailing our Customer Service Team on

If you are not yet a Ashtons clients please contact us here to request the guide.