OpenPrescribing May 2018 Newsletter
6 June 2018
Low-Priority Prescribing Paper Published
This week our latest paper was published, which describes the trends and variation in prescribing of medicines determined to be of “low-priority” by NHS England. We found that there has been an overall decrease in the prescribing volume of these medications, but despite this, costs have risen slightly. This is driven by higher costs per prescription for drugs such as liothyronine, trimipramine and coproxamol. You can see how much your practice/CCG spends on these items using our measure.
You can also find out more by reading our paper, which has picked up some press coverage in Pulse and Science Daily.
2017 data now available in Long Term Trends tool
Our Long Term Trends tool has England’s national prescribing data for 1998 onwards, compiled and normalised to facilitate the exploration of these datasets. We have now updated this tool to include the data for 2017, which was released in March. Anyone can access this data tool at OpenPrescribing.net/long-term-trends. You can also read our paper, and the update notice which now accompanies it.
Invitation to suggest new measures for OpenPrescribing!
We spend a lot of time thinking about prescribing data. Recently we had an idea. You could argue that prescribing measures fall into two broad camps: easy problems, and hard problems. When you tell someone they’re prescribing a lot of high dose opioids, they’re likely to be working on it already. They’re likely to say, in an exasperated voice: “I know!”.
But there are often small things that are easy to fix, which people sometimes don’t know about. For example: the BNF is clear that Diltiazem MR should always be prescribed as a brand (any brand) because bioavailability varies between brands; but lots of people don’t do this. We have it as a standard measure, and in our experience of giving live presentations about OpenPrescribing to clinicians, when people see they’re an outlier for such a simple fix, they open their eyes a little wider, smile, and set about changing practice.
We want to gather a list of prescribing measures where changes can be made easily by clinicians, as soon as they become aware. From our current measures this would include things like: simple brand/generic switches (such as high-cost statins); simple formulation switches (such as methotrexate 2.5mg). The measures don’t need to be common problems. We’re happy with things that only arise occasionally, because that’s the joy of working with big datasets: we can spot problems that only arise in a few practices of CCGs, and target our alerts to the small number of people who might benefit from them.
So, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas for “easy fix” measures!
Prescribing data update!
We’ve updated OpenPrescribing with March’s data. Head over to www.openprescribing.net to see more.
In other news…
Ben Goldacre & Bennett Institute at Evidence Live 2018
We will be delivering a workshop on Producing Data-Driven Tools at Evidence Live. In this workshop we will give an overview covering how to make effective interactive services driven by data, through:
- Providing an overview of the software and services which can be used to create your own data-driven tools.
- Demonstrating examples from the work of the Bennett Institute.
- Providing an opportunity for attendees to discuss their own ideas or experiences related to data-driven tools
Jointly hosted by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford and The BMJ, this annual conference offers a platform that encourages debate on the current status and future directions of Evidence-Based Medicine.
When: 19th June 9am 2018 (Evidence Live 18-20 June) Where: Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford To find out more about our workshop and to sign up click here.
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