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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Smoking drug rules 'illogical'

Specialist nurses should be given powers to prescribe bupropion (Zyban) to smokers because the current policy 'makes no sense', claims Dr Scott Wilkes.

Dr Wilkes, clinical research fellow in primary care at the University of Sunderland, said it was 'illogical' to expect GPs to sign off prescriptions when they were rarely involved in assessing the patient to ensure they were eligible for the drug.

A survey at his practice in Morpeth, Northumberland, found 22 per cent of smokers succeeded in quitting with the help of bupropion ­ a higher success rate than either nicotine replacement therapy or basic advice.

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