In October 2003, the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) agreed that National Prescribing Indicators (NPIs) were useful tools to promote rational prescribing across NHS Wales, and since then, NPIs have evolved to include secondary care in addition to primary care. It was agreed that NPIs should address efficiency as well as quality and that targets should be challenging but achievable, and applicable at practice level. In order to undertake monitoring, the NPIs for 2018–2019 draw on a variety of data sources such as CASPACluster, Medusa, Audit and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Each of the NPIs for 2018–2019 has a focus on safety, stewardship or efficiency, and have therefore been organised into these categories. It is intended that NPIs move towards a more patient-focussed approach, with measures considering whether the right patients are getting the right medicines, and whether these medicines are making a difference to their outcomes, as recommended by a Wales Audit Office report1.