OpenPrescribing February 2018 Newsletter
Price Concessions - starting to reduce?
The latest price concession information for January has been released by the PSNC (in fact, two sets of data in quick succession). The PSNC have also stated that they are “still in discussion with the DHSC regarding further January 2018 price concessions”. Therefore we have made some calculations based on what we know at the moment - as soon as there are changes we will update this blog. For January 2018, on the surface price concessions look better than in previous months, with an estimated impact of about £12.6 million. This brings the total for the financial year to date to approximately £297 million. This is based on an estimated actual cost, using November data for December and January, so there will be slight changes when the actual data is available.
At the Bennett Institute we are currently working on a way of automatically identifying and flagging these “price shocks”. More info as we have it…
Don’t forget that our Drug Tariff and Price Concessions viewer is freely available here, and is updated on a daily basis!
Long term trends tool- update
The long term trends tool has been improved, to smooth out sudden increases and decreases in prescribing which could have caused apparent gaps. E.g. below, the generic version of omega-3 was quickly taken up in the year it first became available, replacing some of the branded Omacor prescribing, and appearing as an unfilled gap between the two years’ data points:
These such spaces now are filled in, so that year-on-year transitions appear smoother:
You can explore long term trends here: openprescribing.net/long_term_trends/
You can also read more about Omega-3 prescribing in our recent blog.
New Measure - total opioid prescribing in morphine equivalent units
We have introduced a new measure, describing the total Oral Morphine Equivalence (OME) of ALL opioid prescribing (excluding prescribing for addiction) - including low-dose opioids in drugs such as co-codamol and co-dydramol. This measure is experimental and should be used with caution, as OME conversions vary in different reference sources. Our paper on this measure will be available shortly.
You can access the measure here (openprescribing.net/measure/opioidome/) or through practice/CCG dashboards.
FDAAA Compliance Tracker
In the Bennett Institute we do lots of interesting work outside of prescribing data, across medicine more broadly. This month we launched a big new project on non-reporting of clinical trial results. This is an ongoing global public health problem: the best currently available evidence shows that the results of clinical trials are routinely withheld from doctors, researchers, and patients. So we built a tool that shows all the unreported trials covered by one key piece of US medical legislation, the day they go overdue: FDAAA Trials Tracker tool.
Published papers and pre-prints:
The Bennett Institute team have been churning out so much good stuff lately. If you’re keen to read more please click the links below:
- Peer-reviewed publication:
- New mechanism to identify cost savings in English NHS prescribing: minimising ‘price per unit’, a cross-sectional study. This is the key paper on our “Price Per Unit” tool on OpenPrescribing.net, which shows you how to get the biggest cost savings in individual practices and CCGs. It uses a completely new method for identifying cost savings, that you can only access on OpenPrescribing. So get in, and take a look!
- Pre-printed papers:
- Trends, geographic variation, and factors associated with prescribing of gluten-free foods in English primary care: a cross sectional study This is our paper on gluten free prescribing, currently under peer review at a journal.
- Trends and variation in Prescribing of Low-Priority Treatments Identified by NHS England: A Cross-Sectional Study and Interactive Data Tool in English Primary CareThis is our paper that some of you will have seen before, describing how practices and CCGs across the country are using treatments on the NHS England “do not use” list.
Prescribing data update!
We’ve updated OpenPrescribing with December’s data. Head over to www.openprescribing.net to see more.
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