Research Article

Prescribing: the power to set limits.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 09 February 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:450
  1. J M Harding,
  2. M Modell,
  3. S Freudenberg,
  4. R MacGregor,
  5. J N Rea,
  6. C A Steen,
  7. M Wojciechowski,
  8. G D Yudkin


    This paper discusses drawing up a restricted list of 245 drugs for use in an inner London group practice, based on a review of prescribing patterns in November 1982. The likely impact of the recent proposals by the Department of Health and Social Security to limit drugs available for prescription under the National Health Service on this project and on patient care is considered. We conclude that generic prescribing and a limited list of drugs may improve the quality of prescribing and be the only way to curb prescribing costs but that a limited list should be flexible, responsive to patients' needs, and applied to all prescribing. There should also be a mechanism for consumer feedback and regular revision of the list.