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Gold, incentives and meh

How drug switch saved us £10,000 in just 40 minutes

From Dr David Metson

Bracknell, Berkshire

I was interested in your article about the potential savings to be made from drug switches (News, 18 January). I would like to share with other GPs how 40 minutes of our practice nurse's time saved £10,000 per annum in prescribing costs.

There are two prices for amlodipine: one is £216 a year cheaper than the other (£2.88 a month for amlodipine 10mg and £19.47 a month for amlodipine besilate).

We switched the 51 of our 4,300 patients on the besilate formulation to the cheaper generic form and are making this big annual saving. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that if this could be replicated across the UK, an annual saving to the NHS of £140 million could be made.

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