OpenPrescribing May 2018 Newsletter

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.

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"PPPI": why academics should engage Patients, the Public *and* Professionals

This is a brief blog about something small and trivial, but also big and important. Recently on the staircase my friend Carl Heneghan came out with a good line about “Patient and Public Involvement”, or “PPI” as it is known in the trade. “People talk about PPI,” he said: “but we need PPPI… patients, the public, and professionals.” I think this is absolutely correct. In academia, we often fail to focus on what happens at the coalface.

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OpenPrescribing April 2018 Newsletter

Homeopathy Paper Published Our new paper asks the question: Is use of homeopathy associated with poor prescribing in English primary care? The answer, yes. We found that general practices that have worse than average prescribing scores on our standard measures were more than twice as likely to prescribe homeopathy than practices with better than average scores. Interestingly, the level of homeopathy prescribing we found is quite low and is decreasing quite quickly.

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Unreported Clinical Trial of the Week Round-Up

In February, we posted our first Unreported Trial of the Week here in the Bennett Institute blog highlighting a trial from Columbia University. Since then, that trial has submitted results to ClinicalTrials.gov and Unreported Trial of the Week has moved to the BMJ! Each week we profile a new unreported clinical trial that has not reported results in accordance with their legal requirements. You can see all four trials we have profiled thus far as well as the introductory post at the BMJ.

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OpenPrescribing March 2018 Newsletter

Price Concessions - February The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have released 3 sets of price concession price lists for February 2018. Once again, the total amount for England for the month has reduced: we’ve estimated the impact as £9.37 million for February 2018, although this is based on December 2017 data (the latest available at time of writing), and is therefore likely to reduce slightly (as February has fewer days).

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An unreported clinical trial… from the FDA themselves

Our FDAAA TrialsTracker provides a public list of all trials required to report under the FDA Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). We update every weekday with live data showing who has, and has not, reported their results in accordance with the law. You can read our full methods in our preprint paper. One unreported trial last week stood out: this trial was sponsored by the FDA, the agency in charge of enforcing the reporting requirements of the FDAAA.

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Price concessions for February 2018

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have released 3 sets of price concession price lists for February 2018. Once again, the total amount for England for the month has reduced: we’ve estimated the impact as £9.37 million for February 2018, although this is based on December 2017 data (the latest we have), and is therefore likely to reduce slightly (as February has fewer days). The total for 2017-18 so far is £308.

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Welcoming our new Bennett Institute team member, Darren Smyth: a lawyer!

Here at the Bennett Institute we are a truly multidisciplinary team: clinicians, academics and software engineers, working together to produce tools, as well as papers. This is glorious fun, and productive. From our time working together as a team we now have software engineers who know about clinical trials, prescribing data, and more; and we have researchers and clinicians who know a bit about building websites. This may or may not thrill you, but I will share it: our academics write code that runs live on our websites!

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Our FDAAA TrialsTracker is already helping to get new trials reported!

When we launched our FDAAA TrialsTracker we wanted to produce a tool that would improve clinical trial reporting, rather than another repetitive academic journal paper that simply documents the extent of the problem. This reflects our ethos in the Bennett Institute: clinicians, academics and software engineers, working together to produce tools, as well as papers. Two weeks after launch we have had extensive media coverage, and a lot of great user feedback.

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