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PCTs seek to restrict GPs prescribing high cost drugs

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 14 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2449
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

General practitioners’ ability to prescribe expensive drugs that are officially approved for use on the NHS is being scaled back by primary care trusts to try and save money.

Some doctors are coming under increasing pressure to stop prescribing high cost drugs even though they are approved by medicines watchdog the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The Department of Health has questioned the development and insisted that GPs are entitled to prescribe medicines based on a patient’s clinical need and trusts are legally obliged to fund treatments and drugs recommended by NICE.

A survey with responses from 134 primary care organisations in England, Scotland, and Wales carried out by Pulse magazine found that more than half had created new lists of drugs in the past year, which they recommended doctors no longer prescribe.

Of the 134 …

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