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Statins under-prescribed in high-risk diabetics

NICE guidelines on the use of glitazones are often ignored with wide variation in the use of liver function tests before prescribing, new primary care research suggests.

Liver testing is a key requirement under NICE, but the rate of testing varied

from 71 to 0 per cent from practice to practice, the study found.

According to NICE, GPs should also monitor liver function every two months for the first year of treatment, but while the highest adhering practice did this 91 per cent of the time, the lowest never monitored its patients.

'Ignorance' of the guidelines was the likely reason for the wide degree of variation, according to the study, published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice (October).

Overall, compliance with NICE guidelines on the use of glitazones ranged from 63-74 per cent across the practices.

The researchers said compliance with NICE guidance was 'generally good' but certain areas, such as liver function testing, 'required more attention'.

The study included 13 practices and 57 GPs from Ellesmere Port and Neston PCT in Cheshire and analysed records from 2,101 patients with type 2 diabetes, 121 of whom were prescribed glitazones.

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