|Social Audit Ltd|
|P O Box 111 London NW1 8XG|
|Telephone/Fax 44 (0)171 586 7771|
|Second Clerk, Health Committee|
|House of Commons|
|LONDON SW1A OAA||
20 October 1998
I am now enclosing a tabulation that may be of interest to the Committee. It illustrates the extent of prescribing in general practice in England of drug products rated 'less suitable for prescribing', in the most reliable sense of that term. Some 30 million prescriptions/year are written for such products, at a cost to the NHS of over £100m/year.
The Committee might be interested not only in the possibility of improving prescribing standards and avoiding waste, but also in examining the wider implications of these data. Clearly they may indicate something about the critical faculties of some prescribers, standards of stewardship by DoH, and about the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS.
Perhaps the Heath Committee might consider making further enquiries? In the attached letter to the Secretary of State for Health, I have suggested one way in which the immediate problem might be tackled, but there have to be many others.
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