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NHS Could Save 'Millions' Through Generic Drugs

The Government has repeated its plea to doctors over prescription of cheaper drugs to fight cholesterol. NHS could save £85 millions in the coming year if GPs// prescribed cheaper cholesterol-busting statins.

Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) can prescribe generic versions of the drugs pravastatin and simvastatin, which are two of five ‘statin’ drugs that are approved for use in UK, instead of their branded counterparts. Pravastatin and simvastatin are deemed to be as effective as branded versions in most cases that help combat high cholesterol.

Health Minister Andy Burnham said: 'As new drugs become available, the local NHS will increasingly have to look closely at the resources it spends on common treatments to ensure it is getting value for money.'

Statin prescriptions cost the NHS around £600million in 2005. The Better Care, better value figures released today show that over £3million has already been saved in the last quarter through changes in the prescribing of statins.

The figures showed that in one example, the Tameside and Glossop PCT could have saved £435,846 a year by increasing the percentage of cases in which they prescribe generic statins.

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