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Highs and lows: The birth of cost-effective prescribing

Dr Peter Swinyard, chair of the Family Doctor Association and a GP in Swindon, WIltshire, remembers the introduction of the Limited List in 1984

For me, a key moment was the introduction of the Limited List in 1984.

Prior to this, a GP or indeed a hospital doctor could prescribe anything he or she thought to be useful on the NHS. This was the first moment at which we started to be limited to cost-effective prescribing and has led on to the whole control agenda in which we are told what to think rather than relying on our professionalism to provide the best care we can for our patients.

This was the first real government attack on the rights of professionals to be self governing. Apres là, la deluge…

Dr Peter Swinyard