What we do

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) provides advice to NHSScotland about the value for patients of every newly licensed medicine.

We are part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the national healthcare improvement organisation for Scotland. We review new medicines that have received a licence from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA – the licensing body for the UK) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA – the licensing body for the European Union). We also review new formulations of, and new ways to use, established medicines. Before a medicine can be prescribed routinely in Scotland, it has to be accepted for use by SMC. Our advice helps the health service plan for the quick, uniform introduction of beneficial treatments across NHSScotland.

We also carry out horizon scanning to ensure NHS boards are aware of new medicines expected to come to market over the next financial year. This helps NHS boards plan their budgets more effectively.  Before SMC was established, 14 individual local Area Drug and Therapeutics Committees (ADTCs) advised their respective NHS boards which products should be accepted for use in their area. The introduction of SMC in 2002 provided a single point of advice, reducing duplication of work and differences in availability of medicines across NHSScotland.

  • A guide to the Scottish Medicines Consortium 1011kb (PDF)

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The work of the SMC is invaluable to formulary teams when making local decisions. Finding up-to-date advice presented in a well laid out format ensures we are aligning with the current recommendations for clinical practice.

Medicines Management team, NHS Lothian