Superstatin threat to GP budgets
Government heart tsar Dr Roger Boyle has warned GPs that they may have to prescribe a new generation of
'superstatins', which could put prescribing budgets under even more pressure.
Speaking at last month's National Association of Primary Care conference held in Manchester, Dr Boyle said the cost of prescribing the new drugs could have a knock-on effect on prescribing overspends, which 'were going to get worse'.
Dr Boyle said latest figures showed statin prescribing was costing the NHS £40-50 million per month. Spending on the drugs was highest in Cheshire and Merseyside and lowest in the Thames Valley, he added.
Dr John Pittard, secretary of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society and a GP in Staines, Middlesex, said superstatins might prove unnecessary because of new 'add-on' lipid-lowering drugs, prescribed on top of a statin. These were due to be licensed soon and had been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by a further 17-18 per cent.