Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Varenicline in the news

Varenicline (Champix®) is in the news today after the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence issued a positive Final Appraisal Determination (FAD).

Final Guidance is expected in July and may be based upon the FAD provided there are no appeals against the existing content. The majority of the news coverage is focussing upon the efficacy of varenicline and debating whether this drug should be funded when recent cancer and Alzheimer's drugs have been rejected.

As previously discussed, varenicline is an option for patients who have failed to stop smoking using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

Action: Media coverage of varenicline is likely to increase requests, especially with the imminent smoking ban in England. NRT remains the first line choice; bupropion and varenicline are suitable alternatives where NRT treatment fails.

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