UK Trials and Brexit — An Update

Earlier this year we noticed a disturbing trend among UK trials registered on the EUCTR. The amount of newly approved and registered trials on the EUCTR dropped drastically following the 2016 Brexit vote. The chart from that blog post (from May 2019) is included below. When we reached out to the MHRA to ask about this, they stated that there was actually no decline in UK trials post-Brexit but rather administrative delays that kept trials from appearing on the public-facing EUCTR website.

Read more about UK Trials and Brexit — An Update

OpenPrescribing Newsletter June 2019

New low-priority measures approved Yesterday (27 June), NHS England completed its consultation on an additional proposed set of products being considered for a recommendation against regular use in primary care. Therefore, on the site we have now included these new items in the set of low-priority measures. The newly added products include bath and shower emollients, higher cost insulin pen needles and dronedarone. See how your practice or CCG is performing on these measures here, or navigate to the Low Priority measures from your favourite organisation’s dashboard.

Read more about OpenPrescribing Newsletter June 2019

Additional Functions on Analyse page - multi-level searching and STP/NHS England regions

Our technical team are busy improving how the engine room of OpenPrescribing. When they’ve finished we’ll get them to write a blog on exactly what they’ve done. In the meantime, as the work progresses we are able to add some additional exciting new features to the site. Multi-level analysis One of the limitations of how our Analyse page worked was the ability to only search at one BNF level at a time.

Read more about Additional Functions on Analyse page - multi-level searching and STP/NHS England regions

Custom Organisation Groupings: OpenPrescribing Plan for Organisations like Primary Care Networks

Update November 2019: Our NHS PCN dashboards are now live at https://openprescribing.net/pcn/ and you can read more on our launch blog. Update August 2019: Our amazing developers have written all the code necessary to display all prescribing measures and data for all PCNs in England on OpenPrescribing. Unfortunately there is no national list of PCNs and their membership available, as soon as this is published we will bring you our prescribing dashboards.

Read more about Custom Organisation Groupings: OpenPrescribing Plan for Organisations like Primary Care Networks

OpenPrescribing Newsletter May 2019

Varied implementation of UTI prescribing guidelines One of our recent papers, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, highlighted variability in the speed at which different CCGs switched from prescribing trimethoprim to nitrofurantoin (as recommended by PHE for uncomplicated UTI). It appears that the practices which changed the most were in CCGs that had taken some action to promote the new guidelines, such as a change in formulary. What are the implications?

Read more about OpenPrescribing Newsletter May 2019

How can we improve the management of necessary changes in clinical practice?

Just before Christmas we had a paper published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. It looked at how GP practices responded to changes to the guidance for antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs). It’s an interesting story in itself, but we think that it prompts some wider questions about how GPs are helped to keep up-to-date on guidance on prescribing. What is the issue? For many years the mainstay of antibiotic treatment of uncomplicated UTIs in women has been trimethoprim.

Read more about How can we improve the management of necessary changes in clinical practice?

All England Alerts : A New Feature on OpenPrescribing

This week we have launched a new email alerting service that covers all of NHS England. Many users of OpenPrescribing already receive our monthly newsletter and our innovative email alert service for practice and CCG prescribing measures and for price concessions. We have now developed this service covering all of England based on user feedback. To sign up, just go to the All England page and enter your email address in the box beside the measures categories (see screenshot below).

Read more about All England Alerts : A New Feature on OpenPrescribing

UK Trials and Brexit

We recently noticed a very dramatic drop in the number of UK clinical trials post-Brexit on the EU Clinical Trials Register (which would be a catastrophe for British science) and wrote to MHRA to get their view. It turns out that the drop is largely due to bad data management: this is worrying, but not the same thing as a drop in the number of UK clinical trials. The Short Story We’ve been conducting research on trends in clinical trials globally with one very striking recent finding: examining clinical trials on medicinal products, using the EU Clinical Trials Register (EUCTR), the number of trials with a competent authority decision from the UK has fallen dramatically.

Read more about UK Trials and Brexit

Communicating variation in prescribing - Why We Use Deciles

On OpenPrescribing.net we provide data for individual practices and CCGs (and now STPs and regions!) making it easier for everyone to explore NHS prescribing patterns in England - supporting safer, more efficient prescribing. However, providing data for an individual location in isolation is rarely useful. We need to provide context, so that some sort of judgement can be made about whether the prescribing in question is especially high or low, and how extreme it is, in comparison with others.

Read more about Communicating variation in prescribing - Why We Use Deciles