Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Generic statins and QOF targets

The Journal of Health Services Research and Policy has published a research article that aimed to identify whether primary care trusts (PCTs) that used a high proportion of low-cost generic statins performed as well on the Quality and Outcome Framework (QOF) targets related to cholesterol as those PCTs that used less.

QOF data for 2005-06 was cross-referenced with prescribing data for statins for the same time period. Achievement for QOF indicators for CHD, stroke and diabetes were 78% (range 66–88%), 72% (58–82%) and 79% (67–88%), respectively. The average percentage use of simvastatin and pravastatin was 57% (range 18%-84%).

There was no evidence of an association between QOF achievement and use of low cost statins. The authors therefore conclude that, "PCTs that had a high proportion of simvastatin and pravastatin use were just as successful achieving cholesterol targets" however they also note that future research should look at longer time periods and the recently introduced tighter cholesterol targets.

Action: Clinicians can be reassured that low-cost generic statins are effective in delivering cholesterol targets in a high proportion of patients.

Thanks to Kevin Ashworth for spotting this article

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