Patients may need costlier medications

The GPC has issued guidance to help GPs and primary care organisations (PCOs) to encourage appropriate and cost-effective prescribing.

There have been incidents of PCOs looking to cut costs by providing a list of drugs that they wish to stop providing within their PCO area, effectively preventing GPs from prescribing them, says the GPC.  

Some PCOs have also put pressure on practices by instructing them to switch patients to more money-saving statins.  

The GPC says GP practices are required, under all types of contract, to prescribe any drugs, medicines or appliances which are needed for the treatment of any patient.  

Its guidance points to the revised GMS contract which says: ‘Practices can be in breach of their contract by prescribing drugs … whose cost or quantity, in relation to any patient, is, by reason of the character of the drug … in excess of that which is reasonably necessary for the proper treatment of that patient.’  

The GPC adds that switching patients to less expensive drugs usually within a therapeutic class is appropriate where there is no contraindication. However, it may also be appropriate for GPs to ‘have the clinical freedom to switch individual patients to higher-priced drugs (branded or otherwise), or to alternative drugs, for clinical reasons.’ 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

Medical Protection's Dr Clare Devlin offers advice on how GPs should respond to parents...

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on COVID-19 risk assessments unless practices are guaranteed...

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs leading primary care networks (PCNs) have called for the partial suspension of...

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

The government has raised the UK's COVID-19 alert level to four amid reports that...

UK on course for 50,000 COVID-19 cases a day by mid-October

UK on course for 50,000 COVID-19 cases a day by mid-October

The UK could see 50,000 COVID-19 cases per day by mid-October, with the epidemic...

Stricter short-term COVID-19 measures needed to avoid second national lockdown, BMA warns

Stricter short-term COVID-19 measures needed to avoid second national lockdown, BMA warns

COVID-19 infection rates will ‘soar’ and the NHS will ‘once again be crippled’ if...