NHS :: NAO report shows the complexity of prescribing medicines, says BMA

Responding to the National Audit Office?s report on efficient prescribing Dr Brian Dunn, from the BMA?s General Practitioners Committee (GPC) clinical and prescribing subcommittee said:

?UK general practice is one of the most efficient in the world. The registered list allows GPs to build a life-long relationship with patients, which in turn allows long-term conditions to be more efficiently managed.

By comparison in France there is no registered list and GP prescribing costs are three times that of the UK. That?s despite the fact that UK GPs also provide much more of the care formerly supplied by hospitals compared to French GPs.

?GPs treat patients. As professionals they must look at the effectiveness of medicines and cost should be secondary. Doctors however have a responsibility to use NHS resources responsibly ? whether in prescribing or referral to hospital.?

The new GP contract introduced structured care for 17 disease categories and government acknowledged that improving preventative care, while having long-term benefits for patients and the NHS, would have short-term prescribing implications.

Dr Brian Dunn said:

?GPC would welcome increased prescribing support for GPs, appropriate incentives to prescribe efficiently, measures to decrease medicine wastage and better co-ordination of prescribing between primary and secondary care.

?UK GPs provide the most comprehensive and high quality care in the world. General Practice is an increasingly complex profession with more care being provided in GP surgeries rather than in hospitals. We support measures that will help GPs continue to provide the care patients deserve.?

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