The Better Care, Better Value Indicators at the NHS Productivity Metric Website have been updated to include data from the second quarter (July - September) of 2006-07.
One indicator relates directly to prescribing. It collates data for the prescribing of low cost statins (Simvastatin and Pravastatin) and ranks PCTs against each other. It also calculates what saving could be made if individual PCTs moved into the top quartile.
In total the reports suggest that £84.7 million would be available to the NHS for investment in other areas if all PCTs currently below the top quartile changed prescribing to reach the top quartile.
Simvastatin 40mg is widely accepted as the first line statin for new patients but changing historical practice in patients who are already on treatment needs consideration. The National Prescribing Centre recently launched a National Campaign containing materials that support statin switch programmes.
Action: Clinicians should undertake audits of their statin prescribing and initiate switch programmes to generate savings.