Digital Health Europe

STEPSelect: a tool for pharmaceutical selection

Keywords: Medicine Management, Medicine Optimisation, Pharmacy, Quality of Care
Digital solution and service (e.g. application/digital health portal/platform/AI based system/etc.)
Short description
STEPS (Safe Therapeutic Economic Pharmaceutical Selection) is a tool for the rational, safe, evidence-based, cost-effective selection and procurement of medicines and medical devices within a comprehensive professional framework aiming at medicines optimisation. It is one of the most successful projects on integrated medicines management (IMM) developed in Northern Ireland. STEPSelect is a unique tool in which better quality of care is achieved, patient safety is improved and major cost savings are realized. It is important to take into account that medicines management needs both a clinical and a pharmaceutical foundation. Thus from that perspective, the STEPS process was developed in Northern Ireland, the Safe Therapeutic Economic Pharmaceutical Selection method. In this programme matrix models were used in the first step to identify the most clinically efficacious products within a pharmaceutical class. In the next step of the STEPS process, the packaging of the products selected in the first step was judged in a prospective manner using a standard regionally agreed template. This was then followed by a third step incorporating both procurement and a budget impact analysis. Finally, only the best valued medicines (usually two or three) were chosen as the preferred medicines (and supplier) in Northern Ireland. The STEPS approach is well accepted by both prescribers and pharmacists because of the fact that product selection is based on quality aspects, such as efficacy, documented effects on end-points, safety, tolerability and ease of use.
There is evidence for economic viability and/or of benefits to the target group of the practice. Further research/development is needed for routine use.
United Kingdom (please specify)
Northern Ireland
Geographical scope
Submitted in other database or repository of digital health resources that is publicly available, DHE catalogue

Additional information