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HSE Medicines Management Programme launches two new preferred drugs

The MMP was established in 2013 under the leadership of Prof Michael Barry with the aim of promoting safe, effective and cost-effective prescribing among GPs. The MMP has undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing evidence-based and cost-effective prescribing nationally.

One of these is the preferred drugs initiative, which identifies a single ‘preferred drug’ within a therapeutic drug class, and offers prescribers useful guidance on selecting, prescribing and monitoring this drug for a particular condition.

Prescribers are encouraged to make the preferred drug their drug of first choice when prescribing from that therapeutic class.

In total, there are now ten preferred drugs selected by the MMP. These drug groups account for 25 per cent of total prescribing on the GMS scheme. Total expenditure on these ten therapeutic areas was €253 million in 2014.

“If we choose better value medicines, we can make savings to fund other areas of the health service,” commented Prof Barry. “For example, if we prescribe any other statin in preference to rosuvastatin and, if we choose any other PPI in preference to esomeprazole (or rabeprazole), savings of over €5.7 million per year can be achieved. At a time of increasing demand on our health service we need to make the right choices.”

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