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Contract threats over banned drugs

new drugs

Primary care trusts are taking advantage of the 'excessive prescribing' clause in GPs' contracts to ban use of a series of potentially useful medicines.

GPs are being threatened with breach of contract if they prescribe lists of drugs no longer funded for general practice use.

Cambridgeshire PCT is adding all new drugs to a 'red list' which includes duloxetine, metformin modified release and cholinesterase inhibitors.

Mid-Essex PCT said it would be closely monitoring prescribing data and would use paragraph 46 of the GP contract – which allows breach of contract to be alleged – if necessary.

It recently admitted its financial position was 'severe and deteriorating' and has drawn up a 'grey list' of medicines not recommended for use as one way of plugging the financial hole.

Dr Guy Watkins, chief executive of Cambridgeshire LMC, said he was in 'ongoing discussions' with the PCT over the issue

'There is a potential conflict between the needs of an individual patient and the needs of balancing the budget,' he said.

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