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Professor Sir Charles George
Chairman, Joint Formulary Committee
c/o Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
1 Lambeth High Street
LONDON SE1 7JN 20 October 1998

Dear Charles,

I was so pleased to see that the Joint Formulary Committee has decided to give more prominence to the problem of drugs that are "less suitable for prescribing". It's a real improvement to the British National Formulary, and I very much hope what it implies will be taken to heart.

You will be interested to know that some 30 million prescriptions/year are still written for these products, in England alone, at a cost to the NHS of over 100m/year. I am enclosing the tabulation which links the drug products identified in the new BNF to the DoH prescribing statistics.

I am also enclosing a letter I have written about your initiative to the Secretary of State for Health, suggesting how the Department might take advantage of the new data the JFC has produced. Both the letter to Mr Dobson and this letter to you - together with the tabulation enclosed - will be up on our website shortly. We are now getting around 8,000 visitors a month, so perhaps this will also help to encourage better prescribing.

There is no need to acknowledge this letter, but of course I'd be very pleased to hear of any plans you might have to take rational prescribing initiatives further.

With good wishes.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar
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