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GP efforts hailed as CCG saves almost £2m in prescribing costs

A CCG in the East of England have hailed efforts of GPs for cutting close to £2m from its prescribing costs in the last year.

NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG said the cost reduction was down to prescribing of generic medicines, encouraging patients not to automatically order a repeat prescription and asking patients with minor conditions to buy over-the-counter medicines in pharmacies.

The news, which comes as NHS England announced that it is considering a ban on prescribing ‘low value’ over-the-counter medicines, saw the CCG £1.6m under budget 10 months into the 2016/17 financial year.

According to CCG board papers, this was an almost £1.9m spending reduction compared to last year.

NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG said its medicines management team has worked with both GPs and pharmacists over the last year to achieve the savings, as well as running a Facebook campaign aimed at patients.

A spokesperson said: 'We’ve been encouraging the prescribing of generic medicines which have the same effect as more costly branded products.

'People have been encouraged not to automatically tick the boxes on their repeat prescription form, only order what they need and to talk to their GP about any issues with repeat prescription medicine.

‘We’ve been raising awareness of how the pharmacy is the place to go to buy over the counter medicine for minor conditions, rather than getting a prescription from the GP.'

The spokesperson said the 'big savings' would 'be used to meet the financial challenges we face over the coming year'.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Our practice alone saved £7000 per year by identifying 2 patients taking trimimpramine 25mg daily. The price has increased to £200 per month. Worth looking out for.

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  • The question more like is why aren't the CCG or NHS england going after the pharamcy or pharmaceuticals to keep prices reasonable and expect us to monitor these prices indirectly? We take the risk, call the patient back, over-ride secondary care to get 10-30% of a tight budget to spend on our surgeries??? But guess who rolls over and wags their tails to do so? Whole issue around specials before where pharamcies would get these at huge costs to coverbills of other meds then cogs tell us to do the work to cut specials! but have no authoity over the pharmacy as a 'free-market'! no naming and shaming... but or GPs name and shame in dashboards, and waiting times,

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