Historically across the NENC ICB area there are three formularies in place that were operated by the three Area Prescribing Committees (APCs) of County Durham & Tees Valley; North of Tyne, Gateshead & North Cumbria; and South Tyneside & Sunderland.

As part of the move to a single ICB-wide formulary a working group was formed with the agreement of the NENC Medicines Committee to explore merging the three existing formularies into one NENC formulary.

As a result a short life working group of formulary pharmacists from NENC APCs and Trusts, led by the Regional Drug and Therapeutics Centre (RDTC) have reviewed the differences in formulary status and developed a recommended RAG status. The Red/Amber/Green (RAG) classification offers guidance on the prescribing of drugs initiated in primary and secondary care on the primary basis of patient safety.

Drugs on the formulary/RAG list are either classified as:

  • RED – hospital only.
  • AMBER Shared Care – required a shared care guideline for joint responsibility for prescribing and monitoring between primary and secondary care.
  • GREEN+ – drugs which should usually be initiated in secondary care, or by a specialist clinician, but can be safely maintained in primary care with very little or no monitoring required. (An information leaflet may be provided in order to facilitate ongoing prescribing in primary care).
  • GREEN – can be initiated in primary or secondary care.

The criteria used for defining the RAG status of a drug are based on the following:

  • specialist nature of the drug
  • the complexity of the assessment and monitoring arrangements required for the care of the patient
  • clinical responsibility and competency associated with the prescribing of a medicine

N.B. the RAG status of a drug is not based on the cost of the medication

We would welcome your views on the recommended RAG classification of the ICB formulary list, along with the recommended definitions of the different colour classifications. Once agreed this will be available via a more user friendly web based platform known as NetFormulary.

Please use this form to submit comments. All comments will be reviewed but please do not expect a personal response as we do not routinely reply to all comments. It is important to include any relevant evidence to back up any suggestions and please keep comments concise where possible.

Please note

  1. The messages sent from this form are transmitted via our hosts web server. If you have any security concerns about this process you can send your comments/feedback using your own email client to nuth.nyrdtc.rxsupp@nhs.net.
  2. This consultation will run for four weeks and closes at 5pm on Friday 23rd June 2023.
Title Documents Decision Date


NENC ICB suggested RAG status for formulary 016 NENC ICB Suggested RAG status for formulary Closing date: 23/06/2023