Prescription changes row11th April 2011
Doctors have said they are facing pressure from Primary Care Trusts to decrease the number of drugs they supply per prescription.
This could mean that patients in England receive 28 days' worth of medication as opposed to 56, which would double the prescription costs.
The Patients Association has said it has seen an increase in calls to its helpline and has warned that some patients will not be able to cope with increased costs.
The Department of Health stated that it was not compulsory for GPs to follow PCT guidelines.
Many patients who take medication on a regular basis are given prescriptions which last for two months.
Dr Mike Smith, an Association trustee, said that making patients purchase more prescriptions could have a serious impact: "I know from pharmacists that quite often the patient will say I'll do without that one and that one this month because I can't afford it. Now that is not right."
The Department of Health insisted that although PCTs can send out guidance regarding the quantities of medication GPs prescribe, it is the decision of each GP if he or she decides to abide by them.
The organisation representing the trusts is the Primary Care Trust Network. David Stout, the PCT Network's director, said: "The idea is to avoid waste. A parliamentary accounts committee estimated something like £100 million a year is wasted on medicines that never get used."
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Title: Prescription changes row
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 18179
Date Added: 11th Apr 2011