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Independents' Day

Not all drug-switching schemes are the same

Many PCTs operate drug switches within the context of an agreed prescribing-related action as part of the Medicines 6 indicator of the GMS contract (‘Drug switching schemes illegal').

This is not the same as the bespoke prescribing incentive schemes giving practices substantial financial rewards, which is what the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry was moaning about.

Anyway, it may be possible within an incentive scheme to avoid naming specific drugs by advising switching to drugs with ‘lower acquisition costs', thereby avoiding promoting a specific agent.

Richard Glet
Prescribing adviser, NHS Lincolnshire

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