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Anger over script restraints

The GPC has condemned PCTs that are refusing to allow GPs to prescribe long-term repeat prescriptions in order to shift costs into the next financial year.

GPs in some trusts are facing 'wholly inappropriate' restraints of prescribing backed up with threats to cut practices' drugs budgets.

One PCT has told practices to issue prescriptions for a maximum of 28 days as it battles with a £350,000 deficit.

Havering PCT has been condemned by GPs after threatening that 'failure to comply will result in a reduced practice budget for 2007/8 and will affect your own expenses'.

When contacted by Pulse the trust initially said the proposal had been passed by the LMC – a claim it retracted following LMC denials.

Other PCTs have implemented similar '28 days later' schemes for those who do not pay for scripts and the elderly.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, member of the GPC prescribing subcommittee and a GP in Stanmore, Middlesex, criticised the proposals, warning they could threaten compliance.

'If there is no clinical reason why scripts should be reduced to one month GPs should not be doing so.

'To blanketly suggest prescription should only be for a month is wholly inappropriate.'

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