Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS will publish national list of “low value” drugs to curb GPs’ prescribing costs

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 30 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1613
  1. Gareth Iacobucci

NHS England is to publish a national list of “low value” drugs as part of a new drive to reduce GPs’ prescribing costs.

The proposals were unveiled just a week after The BMJ reported that locally driven plans from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to limit GPs’ prescribing of over-the-counter medicines had sparked debate among GPs and had prompted calls for national guidance.1

Announcing its plans on Tuesday 28 March,2 NHS England said that it would now issue national guidance to CCGs from April 2017 to ensure consistency in how policies are applied. It said that the changes could save the NHS £400m (€462m; $496m) a year that could be reinvested to benefit patients better.

The review will initially focus on 10 treatments that NHS Clinical Commissioners—the body that represents CCGs—estimates could save £128m a year.3 These products, which include lidocaine plasters for treatment of post-herpetic …

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