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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

New Better Care, Better Value Indicators

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement has released two new Better Care, Better Value indicators and revised the existing low cost statin indicator.

The existing indicator details the proportion of statin prescribing that consisted of low cost statins, namely simvastatin and pravastatin. This has been revised to now include ezetimibe in the denominator. The reports can be accessed online.

The two new indicators analyse low cost prescribing for drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system and low cost proton pump inhibitors. The former measures the number of prescriptions written for angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (excluding combination products) as a proportion of all drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system. The latter measures the number of prescriptions for low cost proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), namely omeprazole and lansoprazole but excluding Losec MUPS® and Zoton FasTabs®, as a proportion of all prescriptions for PPIs.

Action: Clinicians should already aware of the cost differences in these indicator areas and the potential for improved cost-efficiency. The introduction of these new indicators is likely to increase the focus on these areas of prescribing.

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Drug Safety Update - April 2009

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for April 2009 (PDF).

This issue contains hot topics about prescribers’ responsibilities for off-label or unlicensed use of medicines and recent changes to the law regarding over-the-counter sales of cough and cold medicines for children, a yellow card update that focusses on a safety update for the human papillomavirus immunisation programme and drug safety updates in the following areas:

  • Antiepileptics: adverse effects on bone
  • Methylthioninium chloride (methylene blue): update on CNS toxicity with serotonergic drugs

Action: Clinicians will find this publication to be a useful review of current issues in drug safety.

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April CKS Update

Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) has been updated in April 2009 for the following clinical areas:

Action: Clinicians who see patients with any of these conditions may find the new and updated information useful when reviewing current clinical practice.

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