The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) has synthesised research from four recent papers looking at shorter duration prescriptions (28 days) and comparing these with three month prescriptions.
One of these papers, the Impact of issuing longer- versus shorter- duration prescriptions: a systematic review published today in the British Journal of General Practice, says 28-day prescriptions should be reconsidered in favour of longer- duration prescriptions. The study examined the impact of longer-duration (2–4 months) versus shorter-duration (28-day) prescriptions. The systematic review found that UK recommendations to provide shorter prescriptions are not substantiated by the current evidence base.
While other research found that longer prescriptions were more cost-effective for the NHS, one of its authors, Dr Rupert Payne said that the evidence base for this was ‘poor’. Dr Payne also cautioned that “community pharmacies receive a fee for every prescription they dispense. So simply switching every repeat prescription item from, for example, one month to three months, could result in a large reduction in pharmacy income.” While this may reduce costs, a possible consequence could be loss of pharmacy services. Therefore, any “changes to policy around the length of repeat prescriptions should also consider how pharmacies are reimbursed.”
The full article can be downloaded from British Journal of General Practice here
Doble, B. et al | 2018 |Retrospective, multicohort analysis of the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) to determine differences in the cost of medication wastage, dispensing fees and prescriber time of issuing either short (<60 days) or long (≥60 days)
prescription lengths in primary care for common, chronic conditions in the UK |BMJ Open |Vol. 7| 12 | http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019382
This article can be downloaded from BMJ Open here
Martin, A., Payne, R., & Wilson, E., C., F., | 2018 | Long-Term Costs and Health Consequences of Issuing Shorter Duration Prescriptions for Patients with Chronic Health Conditions in the English NHS | Applied Health Economics and Health Policy |https://doi.org/10.1007/s40258-018-0383-9
This article can be requested by Rotherham NHS staff here