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GPs face five years of prescribing overspends

GPs face 'half a decade' of prescribing overspends despite Government investment, primary care experts have warned.

National service frameworks, National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance and the contract mean prescribing costs will soar in spite of cash injections, they said.

Latest figures presented to the Prescription Pricing Authority by strategic health authorities predict a £330 million prescribing overspend for the financial year to April.

Dr Julian Neal, chair of the BMA's primary care development sub-committee, said these deficits would probably last 'about half a decade'.

Dr David Jenner, chair of the NHS Alliance professional executive committee, said costs were growing at 13 per cent, but budgets were increasing by only 6-10 per cent a year.

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