Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Impact of the new Pharmacy Contract

The contractual framework that community pharmacists work under changed on the 1st April 2005. Under the new arrangements the Department of Health have reduced the price of around 400 medicines.

A full list of the medicines affected is available on the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee's website.

There are several items on this list that will be key in the coming year to ensure that you contain costs within your budget allocation. There are:

  • Simvastatin
    Price reduced by approximately 75%. Simvastatin 40mg is now about £15 per month cheaper than Atorvastatin and at least as effective at lowering cholesterol than the 10mg and 20mg strengths of atorvastatin.
  • Pravastatin
    For those patients who would benefits from Pravastatin (perhaps on Warfarin) the price of this drug has been reduced 70%
  • Ramipril
    Price redced by about half. Also note that the capsules are better value than the tablets, saving you more each month and allowing you to treat more patients at evidence based doses (10mg)
  • Lisinopril
    Price reduced by up to half depending on strength.
  • Fluoxetine
    Price reduced by 25%. This drug should be first line where an antidepressant is indicated for moderate to sever depression.
  • Diclofenac and Naproxen
    Prices reduced by between 15% and 50% bepending on drug and strength. Use these agents only if an NSAID is required and Ibuprofen has not worked.

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