Scottish GPs could save £26m by changes in prescribing
- By: Bryan Christie
An inquiry into prescribing patterns among family doctors in Scotland has concluded that £26m ($42m) could be saved every year through greater efforts to ensure that the most appropriate drugs are given to patients.
A report from the Accounts Commission for Scotland acknowledges that the quality and cost effectiveness of prescribing has improved in recent years, but it adds that there is still great potential for further improvements.
In particular it highlights the continuing use of drugs categorised by the British National Formulary as “less suitable for prescribing” or of “limited value.” These are still prescribed in considerable quantities and are costing the Scottish health service almost £20m a year.
The report also says that replacing half of all premium priced preparations--such as slow release drugs, expensive inhalers, and skin patches--with standard formulations would save about £11m a year. How-ever, it recognises that the more expensive versions may be more