NICE to examine statins for hypertension patients

Prescribing statins to hypertensive patients at risk of cardiovascular disease may be included in the 2012/13 QOF, after NICE's review committee approved the development of an indicator in this area.

NICE's Indicator Advisory Committee met in Manchester last week to discuss proposed indicators for inclusion in QOF in 2012/13. Discussions centred largely on preventive measures, although members claimed some proposals were tantamount to screening.

The committee recommended an indicator for prescribing statins to newly diagnosed patients with hypertension at risk of cardiovascular disease. Pilots will begin in October and it is hoped the indicator will reduce health inequalities in cardiovascular disease.

Once the findings of the pilots have been reported, the NICE QOF committee will present recommendations on indicators for inclusion in the 2012/13 QOF. The GPC and NHS Employers will then negotiate on which of these will be included.

The committee also supported an obesity indicator to measure BMI or waist circumference.

Among other recommendations, members backed indicators for a physical activity questionnaire, diabetes dietary review and osteoporosis care.

But six indicator topic areas were passed back to the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre for review, including indicators for COPD, lower urinary tract infection in men, preconception care for diabetes patients and secondary fracture prevention. Indicators for epilepsy and coeliac disease were rejected.

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