In April 2005 a new contractual framework was implemented for Community Pharmacy. This framework involved the price reduction of many medicines that are available as generics. The price of some of these medicines has been reduced by over 75%.
One of the medicines affected is Simvastatin:
- Simvastatin 40mg reduces total cholesterol by about 30%
Simvastatin 40mg costs the NHS £3.57 for 28 tablets
- Atorvastatin 10mg reduces total cholesterol by about 28%
Atorvastatin 10mg costs the NHS £18.03 for 28 tablets
Changing patients from Atorvastatin 10mg to Simvastatin 40mg will have no detrimental impact on total cholesterol levels and generate cost savings of £14.46 per patient per month. For Blackpool PCT this equates to a saving of about £40,000 per month based on April 2005 data. Prescribers can free up this money for re-invested in services and other prescribing areas.
Action: Urgent consideration should be given to changing statin therapy in all patients currently on Atorvastatin 10mg tablets. Patients who have previously failed to tolerate Simvastatin or who are currently taking Warfarin or Verapamil should be excluded from the switch.
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