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NICE proposes QOF indicators to prevent drug interactions

GPs will be incentivised to review their prescribing and address common drug interactions, under proposals to tackle the problem of polypharmacy, under new QOF indicators being considered by NICE advisors.

The plans came after the NICE Primary Care Quality and Outcomes Framework Indicator Advisory Committee was asked to look at the impact of the Government’s plans to remove the medicines management indicators from the organisational domain of QOF.

At a meeting yesterday, the committee rejected the idea of giving direct GPs incentives for tackling polypharmacy, but says there may be a case for QOF indicators to identify patients on inappropriate combinations of drugs.

The committee was told there was a stronger case for trying to identify patients who are taking inappropriate combinations of medicines that are known to be harmful, such as NSAIDs and warfarin.

The committee recommended that NICE review the clinical domains in QOF and develop a list of inappropriate prescribing combinations where there was good evidence of harm from interactions or contraindications.

It was also suggested that pharmacists be included in any process of reviewing medicines, following the results of the PINCER trial.

They said that these patients can be easily identified through GP practice software program and there is good evidence that avoiding such combinations will prevent adverse events.

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