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Prescribing cost is hardly spiralling

Why do you use the emotive word ‘spiralling' when describing the 60% increase in the cost of GP prescribing since 1996? (‘GPs could be limited to strict drug formularies',

This is less than 4% per annum compounded, and considering an increase in population of 1-2% from Eastern bloc countries, plus people living longer, the increasing health demands of old age, and the availability of better (and therefore more expensive) treatments, increasingly demanded by better informed patients, let alone the demands of the QOF, this shows magnificent restraint by GPs.

The word spiralling should be reserved for gas prices, rail fares, petrol costs, MPs' salaries and ex-Prime Ministers' lecture fees.

Dr Ric Naish, Ealing, west London

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