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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

SMC Update - October 2011

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

Adrenaline tartrate pre-filled pens (Jext®) have been accepted for the emergency treatment of severe acute allergic reactions. It is noted that this product has a longer shelf life compared to existing products.

Bromfenac eye drops (Yellox®) have been rejected for the treatment of postoperative ocular inflammation following cataract extraction in adults. The manufacturer failed to make a submission.

Fluorouracil and salicylic acid solution (Actikerall®) has been accepted for the topical treatment of grade I or II hyperkeratotic actinic keratosis in immunocompetent adult patients.

Olmesartan / amlodipine / hydrochlorothiazide tablets (Sevikar HCT®) has been accepted as a substitution therapy in adult patients whose blood pressure is adequately controlled on these three agents in different formulations.

Quetiapine modified release tablets (Seroquel XL®) have been rejected as an add-on treatment of major depressive episodes in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The manufacturer failed to make a submission.

Rosuvastatin tablets (Crestor®) have been rejected for the prevention of major cardiovascular events in patients who are estimated to have a high risk for a first cardiovascular event. The manufacturer failed to present a sufficiently robust economic analysis to gain acceptance.

Vardenafil orodispersible tablets (Levitra®) have been accepted for restricted use in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in adult men in whom an orodispersible tablet is an appropriate formulation.

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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Generic olanzapine launched

Generic manufacturer Actavis has launched a generic version of olanzapine. The product has been launched as both conventional film coated tablets and as orodispersible tablets and is priced competitively compared to the pioneer brand Zyprexa®.

The potential cost savings will only be realised once the Drug Tariff prices are updated.

Reported prices are as follows:

  • 28 x 2.5mg tablets - £6.56
  • 28 x 5mg tablets - £13.11
  • 56 x 7.5mg tablets - £39.33
  • 28 x 10mg tablets - £26.22
  • 28 x 15mg tablets - £35.75
  • 28 x 20mg tablets - £47.67
  • 28 x 5mg orodispersible tablets - £14.42
  • 28 x 10mg orodispersible tablets - £26.22
  • 28 x 15mg orodispersible tablets - £39.33
  • 28 x 20mg orodispersible tablets - £52.44

These prices represent a 70% cost saving against the current prices for the pioneer brand.

Action: Clinicians should ensure prescriptions are issued generically to benefit from the cost savings made possible by this product launch.

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