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Dr Norman Ellul is furious that his PCT is insisting he uses simvastatin first-line in all patients eligible for statin treatment.

Dr Ellul, a GP in Dagenham, Essex, is putting his quality pay at risk after deciding to boycott the prescribing action plan, drawn up as part of the medicines management quality indicators.

Simvastatin is now available generically, but Dr Ellul said the cost-cutting exercise ignored the potential for interactions with grapefruit juice and antibiotics and the need to monitor liver function.

'I'm not very happy', he said. 'They are curbing my prescribing freedom.'

Barking and Dagenham PCT said the plans were agreed by practices and were not 'imposed' on them.

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