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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

SMC Update - March 2016

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

Capsaicin (Quetenza®) has been rejected for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain in diabetic adults either alone or in combination with other medicinal products for pain. The manufacturer failed to make a submission.

Insulin detemir
(Levemir®) has been accepted for restricted use in the treatment of diabetes mellitus in adults, adolescents and children aged 1 year and above. The restriction limits use to patients unable to achieve good glycaemic control with established insulins.

Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) has been accepted for use in the treatment of influenza in children aged <1 year including full term neonates who present with symptoms typical of influenza, when influenza virus is circulating in the community. Efficacy has been demonstrated when treatment is initiated within two days of first onset of symptoms.

Sacubitril / valsartan (Entresto®) has been accepted for use in adult patients for the treatment of symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. It was noted that sacubitril / valsartan, compared to an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (enalapril), significantly reduced rates of the composite outcome of cardiovascular death and hospitalisation for heart failure, rates of the component outcomes and of all-cause mortality.

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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