Acronym buster

This A–Z is designed to help you translate the array of acronyms used in the pharmaceutical industry.

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ABHI Association of the British Healthcare Industries
ACD Appraisal Consultation Document
ADTC Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee (Scotland)
AE Adverse Event
ADR Adverse Drug Reaction
AESGP Association of the European Self Medication Industry
AGNSS Advisory Group for National Specialised Services
AHSC Academic Health Science Centre
ANSN Academic Health Science Network
AL Adaptive Licensing
AMRC Association of the Medical Research Charities
AMS Academy of Medical Sciences
APG American Pharmaceutical Group
APPG All Party Parliamentary Group/All Party Pharmacy Group
AQF Annual Quality Framework (health – Wales)
AQP Any Qualified Provider
WACG All Wales Cancer Drugs Group (supports the AWMSG)
AWMSG All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (HTA body for Wales)
AWPAG All Wales Prescribing Advisory Group (subgroup of AWMSG)



BAEPD British Association of European Pharmaceutical Distributors
BAPW British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers
BBSRC Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
BGMA British Generic Manufacturers Association
BHBIA British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association
BIA BioIndustry Association
BIG Bioindustrial Innovation and Growth Team (BIS subgroup)
BIS Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
BMA British Medical Association
BNF British National Formulary
BNFC British National Formulary for Children
BIVDA British In Vitro Diagnostics Association
BPG British Pharma Group



CAMHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
CBI The Confederation of British Industry
CCG Cancer Campaigning Group/Clinical Commissioning Group
CD Controlled Drugs
CHC Community Health Council (Wales)
CHM Commission on Human Medicines
CHMP Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use
CLA Copyright Licensing Agency
CMO Chief Medical Officer
CMU Commercial Medicines Unit
COF Commissioning Outcomes Framework - NICE
COMP Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products
CoP Code of Practice (see PMCPA)
CPA Chief Pharmaceutical Advisor (Wales)
CPO Chief Pharmaceutical Officer (Scotland)
CPRD Clinical Practice Research Datalink
CQC Care Quality Commission (regulates adult social care services)
CQUIN Commissioning for Quality and Innovation
CRG Clinical Reference Group
CRN Clinical Research Network
CRUK Cancer Research UK
CSA Chief Scientific Adviser (to the Prime Minister)
CSO Commissioning Support Organisation
CSR Clinical Study Report
CSS Commissioning Support Service
CSU Commissioning Support Unit
CTA Clinical Trial Authorisation
CTD Clinical Trials Directive
CTD Common Technical Document (for regulatory submissions)
CTR Clinical Trials Regulation



DEFRA Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs
DH/DoH Department of Health
DHSS Department of Health and Social Services (Wales only)
DHSSPS Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
DSU Decision Support Unit, NICE
DSUR Developmental Safety Update Report
DTC Direct-to-Consumer
DTCA Direct-to-Consumer Advertising
D&TC Drug and Therapeutics Committee
DTP Direct to Pharmacy/Direct to Public


EA Environment Agency
EAMS Early Access to Medicines Scheme
ECMC Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Network
EFPIA European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations
EGA European Generic Medicines Association
EHR Electronic Health Record
EMA European Medicines Agency
EMC Electronic Medicines Compendium
EMG European Medicines Group
EMIG Ethical Medicines Industry Group
EMR Electronic Medical Record
EPR Electronic Patient Record
EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
ERG Evidence Review Groups
ESRC Economic and Social Research Council
EuropaBio European Association for Bioindustries


FAD Final Appraisal Determination
FDA Food & Drug Administration (The US licensing authority)
FH Foundation Hospital
FIH First in Human (regarding clinical studies)
FIM First in Man (regarding clinical studies)
FMD Falsified Medicines Directive
FOI Freedom of Information
FPM Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine


GAVI Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation
GCP Good Clinical Practice
GDP Good Distribution Practice
GLP Good Laboratory Practice
GMP Good Manufacturing Practice
GVP Good Vigilance (pharmacovigilance) Practice
GDG Guideline Development Group
GIRP European Association of the Pharmaceutical Full-Line Wholesalers
GMC General Medical Council
GMS General Medical Services
GPC General Practitioners Committee (part of the BMA)
GPhC General Pharmaceutical Council


HCP Healthcare Professional
HEAT targets Health Improvement, Efficiency, Access and Treatment
HES Hospital Episode Statistics
HFEA Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
HiS Healthcare Improvement Scotland
HPA Health Protection Agency
HRA Health Research Authority
HRG Healthcare Resource Group
HRSS Health Research Support Service
HSC Health and Social Care (Northern Ireland)
HSCB Health and Social Care Board (Northern Ireland)
HSCIC Health and Social Care Information Centre
HSE Health Survey for England/Health and Safety Executive
HTA Health Technology Assessment
HTA Human Tissue Authority


IAPO International Association of Patients’ Organisations
ICD-10 International Classification of Diseases
ICER Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio
ICH International Conference on Harmonisation
IFPMA International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations
IP Intellectual Property
IVF In Vitro Fertilisation


JCVI Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation
JPG Japanese Pharmaceutical Group
JPMA Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association
JV Joint Venture


LCGs Local Commissioning Groups (Northern Ireland)
LCRN Local Clinical Research Network
LES Local Enhanced Service (part of Quality & Outcomes Framework)
LEPs Local Enterprise Partnerships
LHB Local Health Board (Wales)
LNDG London New Drugs Group
LCNDG London Cancer New Drugs Group
LPC Local Pharmaceutical Committee
LSIDB Life Sciences Innovation Delivery Board
LSIO Life Science Investment Organisation
LSUK Life Sciences UK
LTCAS Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland


M&TC Medicines and Therapeutics Committee (Wales)
MA Marketing Authorisation
MAA Marketing Authorisation Application
MAG Medicines Access Group
MAPPs Medicines Adaptive Pathways to Patients
MDT Multi-Disciplinary Team
MHRA Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
MISG Ministerial Industry Strategy Group
MMF Medicines Management Forum (N. Ireland)
MMIT Medicines Management Information Team (N. Ireland)
MMPB Medicines Management Programme Board (Wales)
MMR Measles, Mumps and Rubella combined vaccine
MMTSG Ministerial Medical Technology Strategy Group
MPIG Medicines, Pharmacy and Industry Group
MRC Medical Research Council


NAB National Advisory Board (Wales)
NAO National Audit Office
NAPC National Association of Primary Care
NC3Rs National Centre for the Reduction, Refinement and Replacement of Animals in Research
NCAS National Clinical Assessment Service
NCASP National Clinical Audit Support Programme
NCDG New Cardiovascular Drugs Group (Wales)
NCRI National Cancer Research Institute
NDA National Diabetes Audit
NDA New Drug Application
NDC New Drugs Committee/National Drug Code
NDG National Delivery Group (Wales)
NES NHS Education for Scotland
NHS National Health Service
NHSBT NHS Blood and Transplant
NHSC National Horizon Scanning Centre
NHSCB NHS Commissioning Board
NHSE NHS England
NHSFT NHS Foundation Trust
NHS IC NHS Information Centre
NHS LA NHS Litigation Authority
NHS QIS NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (Scotland)
NHS Scotland National Health Service in Scotland
NICaN Northern Ireland Cancer Network
NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
NIHR National Institute for Health Research
NIHR CRN National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network
NIII National Institute for Innovation and Improvement
NLIAH National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare (Wales)
NISCHR National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (Wales)
NMG New Medicines Group
NOCRI National Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure
NPA National Pharmacy Association
NPC National Prescribing Centre
NPSA National Patient Safety Agency
NRES National Research Ethics Service
NRS NHS Research Scotland
NRS Permissions CC NHS Research Scotland Permissions Coordinating Centre
NSCG National Specialised Commissioning Group
NSF National Service Framework
NTA National Treatment Agency


OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OFT Office of Fair Trading
OHE Office of Health Economics
OLS Office for Life Sciences
ODIG Orphan Diseases Industry Group
ONS Office for National Statistics
OSCHR Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research
OTC Over-the-counter (medicines)


PACT Prescription Analysis and Cost Tabulation
PAGB Proprietary Association of Great Britain
PALS Patient Advice and Liaison Service
PAPIG Patient and Public Involvement Group
PAS Patient Access Scheme
PASAG Patient Access Scheme Assessment Group (Scotland)
PASLU Patient Access Schemes Liaison Unit
WPAS Wales Patient Access Scheme
PBC Practice-Based Commissioning
PbR Payment by Results
PCA Prescription Cost Analysis
PCC Patient and Client Council (Northern Ireland)
PCP Primary Care Partnerships (Northern Ireland)
PCT Primary Care Trust
PFA Priorities For Action (Northern Ireland)
PHA Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland)
PHE Public Health England
PIE Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
PhRMA Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
PIL Patient Information Leaflet
PISB Pharmaceutical Industry Sector Board
PMCPA Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority
POM Prescription Only Medicine
PPRS Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme
PSNC Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee
PSP Patient Support Programme
PSU Prescribing Support Unit
PSUR Periodic Safety Update Report
PV Pharmacovigilance


QALY Quality-adjusted life year
QIPP Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention
QMAS Quality Management Analysis System
QOF Quality Outcomes Framework
QOL Quality of Life
QS Quality Standards


R&D Research & Development
RCGP Royal College of General Practitioners
RCN Royal College of Nursing
RCUK Research Councils UK
RCOG Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
RCO Royal College Ophthalmologists
RCP Royal College of Physicians
RCPCH Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
RCS Royal College of Surgeons
REACH European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
RMP Risk Management Plan
RPS Royal Pharmaceutical Society
RSM Royal Society of Medicine


SAIL Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank (Wales)
SCG Specialised Commissioning Group
SHTG Scottish Health Technologies Group
SHIP ScottisH Informatics Programme (Scotland)
SIGN Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (Scotland)
SLA Service Level Agreement
SMC Scottish Medicines Consortium (HTA body in Scotland)
SME Small and Medium Enterprise
SmPC/SPC Summary of medicinal Product Characteristics
SPC Supplementary Protection Certificate
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
SUSAR Suspected Unexpected Serious Adverse Reaction


TAR Technology Assessment Report
TEG Topic Expert Group
TRIPs Agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Policy rights
TRP Translational Research Partnership
TSB Technology Strategy Board
TTC Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre (Cardiff)


UKCRC UK Clinical Research Collaboration
UKCRN UK Clinical Research Network
UKMi UK Medicines Information
UKTI UK Trade and Investment
UVIG UK Vaccine Industry Group


VBA Value-based assessment
VBP Value-based pricing


WDL Wholesale Dealer’s Licence
WeMeReC Welsh Medicines Resource Centre
WHO World Health Organization
WHSSC Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee
WMIC Welsh Medicines Information Centre
WMP Welsh Medicines Partnership
WTO World Trade Organization
WACG All Wales Cancer Drugs Group (supports the AWMSG)
WPAS Wales Patient Access Scheme

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