About us

Here you will find information about our member organisations, the member representatives, as well as the process we undertake when making recommendations.

Colour Classifications

Colour classification for medicines
Medicines across Lancashire are categorised by a colour which depicts whether a medicine is funded or not and if funded where the prescribing responsibility lies across the whole health economy. LMMG will recommend a category for a medicine for Lancashire. If recommended for use in Lancashire a medicine is assigned a ‘traffic light colour’ which takes into account safety and monitoring requirements for the individual medication.

For more information on the process which underpins the colour classification of medicines click on the link below

Process For Colour Classification Decisions (636.2 KiB)

Green medicines

Green

  • Appropriate for initiation and ongoing prescribing in both primary and secondary care.
  • Generally, little or no routine drug monitoring is required.

Green (Restricted)

  • Appropriate for initiation and ongoing prescribing in both primary and secondary care provided:
    • Additional criteria specific to the medicine or device are met, or
    • The medicine or device is used following the failure of other therapies as defined by the relevant LMMG pathway.
  • Generally, little or no routine drug monitoring is required.

Amber medicines

Amber level 0

  • Suitable for prescribing in primary care following recommendation or initiation by a specialist.
  • Little or no specific monitoring required.
  • Patient may need a regular review, but this would not exceed that required for other medicines routinely prescribed in primary care.
  • Brief prescribing document or information sheet may be required.

Primary care prescribers must be familiar with the drug to take on prescribing responsibility or must get the required information.

When recommending or handing over care, specialists should ask primary care prescribers to take over prescribing responsibility, and should give enough information about the indication, dose, monitoring requirements, use outside product licence and any necessary dose adjustments to allow them to confidently prescribe.

Amber level 1 (with shared care)

  • Suitable for prescribing in primary care following recommendation or initiation by a specialist.
  • Minimal monitoring required.
  • Patient may need a regular review, but this would not exceed that required for other medicines routinely prescribed in primary care.
  • Full prior agreement about patient’s on-going care must be reached under the shared care agreement.

Primary care prescribers are advised not to take on prescribing of these medicines unless they have been adequately informed by letter of their responsibilities with regards monitoring, side effects and interactions and are happy to take on the prescribing responsibility. A copy of locally approved shared care guidelines should accompany this letter which outlines these responsibilities. Primary care prescribers should then tell secondary care of their intentions as soon as possible by letter so that arrangements can be made for the transfer of care.

Amber level 2 (with shared care and enhanced service)

  • Initiated by specialist and transferred to primary care following a successful initiation period.
  • Significant monitoring required on an on-going basis.
  • Full prior agreement about patient’s on-going care must be reached under the shared care agreement.
  • Suitable for enhanced service.

These medicines are considered suitable for GP prescribing following specialist initiation of therapy, as per shared care document which will be sent out with the request to prescribe, with on-going communication between the primary care prescriber and specialist. Amber Level 2 medicines require significant monitoring for which an enhanced service may be suitable. (Subject to local commissioning agreements).

Red medicines

  • Medicine is supplied by the hospital for the duration of the treatment course.
  • Primary care initiation or continuation of treatment is not recommended unless exceptional circumstances such as specialist GP.

Red medicines are those where primary care prescribing is not recommended. These treatments should be initiated by specialists only and prescribing retained within secondary care. They require specialist knowledge, intensive monitoring, specific dose adjustments or further evaluation in use. If however, a primary care prescriber has particular specialist knowledge or experience of prescribing a particular drug for a particular patient it would not always be appropriate for them to expect to transfer that prescribing responsibility back to secondary care. There should be a specific reason and a specific risk agreement, protocol and service set up to support this.

Primary care prescribers may prescribe RED medicines in exceptional circumstances to patients to ensure continuity of supply while arrangements are made to obtain on going supplies from secondary care.

Grey medicines

  • Medicines which have not yet been reviewed or are under the review process.
  • GPs and specialists are recommended not to prescribe these drugs.

This category includes drugs where funding has not yet been agreed.

Grey — not prioritised medicines

  • Low priority for review.
  • GPs and specialists are recommended not to prescribe these drugs and to submit an application to LMMG if they wish to use.

Black medicines

  • NOT recommended for use by the NHS in Lancashire.
  • Includes medicines that NICE has not recommended for use and terminated technology appraisals, unless there is a local need.

This category includes medicines for which there is insufficient evidence of their effectiveness.