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Prescribing on a purely cost basis is irresponsible

Following the letter from Dr Richard Barker (19 July) I was alarmed to learn of the recent National Audit Office (NAO) report on prescribing in primary care which points to cheaper drug alternatives to solve NHS financial problems.

The report claims the main ‘culprits' seem to be antiplatelets and statins, two crucial drug classes for cardiovascular patients. Since the NAO hasn't looked at any of the clinical evidence on these treatments and seems quite reluctant to allow GPs the clinical freedom to prescribe what is best for patients, I hope GPs will resist this interference for as long as possible.

Financially driven guidance like this, which seems to be independent of clinical or patient considerations, is irresponsible.

From Eve Knight, British Cardiac Patients Association

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