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Prescribing in the prehospital environment: a review of the pharmaceutical Module 501 on UK Military Exercise SAIF SAREEA 3. Can such analysis assist with the scaling of healthcare assets?
  1. L G Davies,
  2. D C Thompson,
  3. R Gillett and
  4. M B Smith
  1. 5 Armoured Medical Regiment, British Army, Catterick Garrison, UK
  1. Correspondence to Lt Col M B Smith, 5 Armoured Medical Regiment, British Army, Catterick Garrison DL9 4AS, UK; drmike17{at}


Introduction Module 501 provides core medications which are fundamental to the capability of a prehospital treatment team (PHTT). The quantities of each medication in the module inventory undergo regular review, but these do not correspond to a population at risk (PAR) figure or deployment length for which they intend to be used. This article proposes how the quantities of Module 501 drugs can be scaled for a given deployment, in this example using statistics taken from static PHTTs on Exercise Saif Sareea 3 (SS3).

Methods The statistics were gathered using a custom-built search of electronic records from the Deployed Defence Medical Information Capability Programme in addition to written record-keeping, which were aligned to the weekly PAR at each PHTT location throughout their full operational capability periods. A quotient was then derived for each module item using a formula.

Results Among the 10 most commonly prescribed drugs were four analgesics and three antimicrobials. 42 of the 110 studied drugs were not prescribed during SS3.

Discussion The data from SS3 reflect the typical scope of disease encountered in the deployed land setting. Employing these data, the use of a formula to estimate the drug quantities needed to sustain a Strike Armoured Infantry Brigade over a 28-day period is demonstrated.

Recommendations Further study of Module 501 across varied deployment environments would be valuable in evolving this approach to medicinal scaling if proven effective for the warm desert climate. It could then be applied to other modules to further inform future Strike medical planning.

Limitations Several considerations when drawing deductions from the data are mentioned, including the inaccuracy of predictor variables taken from the EpiNATO-2 reports.

Conclusion The proposed formula provides an evidence-based framework for scaling drug quantities for a deployment planning. This may improve patient safety and confer logistical, storage and fiscal benefits.

  • primary care
  • pharmacology
  • health policy
  • epidemiology
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  • Contributors LD, DCT, RG, MS: research, drafting and writing of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Approval was sought from the Command.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data sharing not applicable as no data sets generated and/or analysed for this study. All data are held at 5AMR and available on reasonable request.

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