We have just published the open access version of our latest Monthly Script Newsletter (July 13), which provides a round-up of developments relating to primary care; e.g. new NICE guidance, safety updates, recently-launched and 'on the horizon' products, and a commentary on new evidence.
We produce this newsletter for the CCGs in the West Midlands that subscribe to our prescribing support service. You will see that the 'open access version' posted on our website has the data pertaining to our subscriber CCGs redacted, but we hope that other CCGs will still find this newsletter of interest.
Our latest Monthly Script reported on the draft update to the NICE neuropathic pain (NP) guideline, which has been out for consultation. Medicines management teams may recall that this update was initiated following concerns about the financial impact of pregabalin, which was recommended as a first-line treatment in the 2010 NP guideline ahead of the much lower-cost, longer-established gabapentin (the DTB’s article is suggested for further reading). Although final guidance isn't expected until later this year, it gave us a good reason to dip into the prescribing data and look at current use of gabapentin locally (calculated as "gabapentin items as a percentage of the total number of gabapentin and pregabalin items prescribed" for those of you familiar with the data), finding substantial variation across our subscriber CCGs. We also calculated savings for our CCGs were they to move to the 75th percentile value, which were in excess of £100K per quarter for several CCGs. We await with interest publication of the final guideline, which is due out in October!