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Red Amber Green (RAG) Lists

The RAG list provides a framework for defining where clinical and therefore prescribing responsibility should lie through categorisation of individual drugs. The criteria used for defining status is based on the 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 and is not based on the cost of a medication. 

RAG list entries with a NEW flag or UPDATED flag may be subject to a lag period to allow for commissioning approval and implementation by Trusts/CCGs. Please check with your individual Trust or CCG.

Pre-meds for procedures/services commissioned by NHS England where GPs are not expected to be involved in the patients care must be provided by secondary or tertiary care provider.

Drugs without a UK marketing authorisation [“Product licence”] are automatically classified as red unless designated otherwise on the list below. Please note that while some drugs are not listed in the BNF or the Electronic Medicines Compendium, a Summary of product Characteristics is available from the MHRA. For off-label use of licensed medicines, the following advice is offered:

Where there is body of evidence or support from a recognised professional body such as NICE, NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries, Scottish Medicines Consortium [SMC], Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network [SIGN] or a Royal College, then the RAG status of a drug when used at licensed doses in off-licence indications should default to the same RAG status as when used within licensed indications, providing little or no extra monitoring is required and little or no increase in risk to patient safety can be identified.

Exceptions may arise and it is to be remembered that the RAG list is advisory and cannot be expected to include every possible use of every drug. GPs and Consultants are encouraged to discuss individual patient circumstances and consider where prescribing is best managed taking into account monitoring requirements, drug interactions, frequency of routine patient visits to the Consultant and the specialist nature of the condition being treated.  Clinical judgement should be used to arrive at the most reasonable outcome. However, if it is not possible to reach a consensus or a specific issue has arisen, please submit an application to the Interface Subgroup to assess or re-assess the RAG status.

Please read the Guidelines on Defining Red, Amber Green Status for further detail on assigning a RAG status. 

Access to the two separate RAG lists is via the menu bar above (as options from the ‘RAG lists’ menu item) or from the following links. RAG status is also updated within the formulary sections.

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