Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

SMC January Update

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has issued its monthly advice on new medicines.

Buprenorphine transdermal patches (Butrans®) has been rejected for the treatment of severe osteoarthritis in adults that is not adequately controlled by non opioid analgesics. The patch was superior to placebo but the manufacturer failed to present a sufficiently robust economic analysis to gain acceptance.

Salmeterol/fluticasone 50/500 micrograms inhaler (Seretide 500 Accuhaler®) has been rejected for the symptomatic treatment of patients with chronic obstructive airways disease (COPD) and a history of repeated exacerbations. Compared to salmeterol alone, there were no significant differences in mortality rates over 3 years.
[UPDATE] - This advice only applies to patients whose pre-bronchodilator FEV1 is between 50% and 60%.

Aliskiren (Rasilez®) has been rejected for the treatment of essential hypertension. The manufacturer failed to present sufficiently robust clinical or economic analysis to gain acceptance.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the recommendations of the SMC. Routine use of rejected and restricted medicines should be avoided.

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