Management of drug budgets

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7187.874 (Published 27 March 1999)
Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:874.1

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Neurologists do not have confidence in Glasgow's method of managing drugs budget

  1. John P Ballantyne, Consultant neurologist,
  2. Peter O Behan, Consultant neurologist,
  3. Ian Bone, Consultant neurologist,
  4. William F Durward, Consultant neurologist,
  5. Donal Grosset, Consultant neurologist,
  6. Peter G E Kennedy, Consultant neurologist,
  7. Richard A Metcalfe, Consultant neurologist,
  8. Colin P O'Leary, Consultant neurologist,
  9. Richard H K Petty, Consultant neurologist,
  10. Myfanwy Thomas, Consultant neurologist,
  11. Hugh J Willison, Consultant neurologist,
  12. Roderick Duncan, Consultant neurologist
  1. Department of Neurology, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Southern General Hospital NHS Trust, Glasgow G51 4TF
  2. Clydebank Health Centre, Clydebank G81 2TQ

    EDITOR—As the local neurologists implementing the introduction of new drugs into neurological practice we take issue with the process described in Beard et al's article about systems and strategies for managing the drugs budget in Glasgow.1 We recognise the importance of pragmatism and sound economic analysis in meeting the challenge of increasing drug costs to the NHS. However, we have no confidence in the methods currently implemented by the Glasgow area drugs and therapeutics committee in the assessment of new drugs.

    It was made clear to us that if we did not participate in “pragmatic outcome studies” our patients would not have access to new treatments. For this reason we reluctantly agreed to provide limited reports to the drugs and therapeutics committee. These studies have been open label, uncontrolled, and of small numbers of patients. The criteria for assessing sufficient cost effectiveness, which the committee requires to justify subsequent funding, were not defined or …

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