AIM. To investigate the influence of hospital-led prescribing on the cardiovascular budget of a fundholding general practice. DESIGN. Retrospective data extraction. SUBJECTS AND SETTING. 5 general practitioners (list size 8000 patients) in a fundholding general practice in Northern Ireland. METHOD. Phase 1: A preliminary audit was conducted to examine the fundholding practice's overall prescribing in relation to the area board and to highlight any unusual prescribing patterns requiring further investigation. Phase 2: The source of initiation and primary indication for the top 10 (in terms of cost) cardiovascular drugs were determined. This was translated into the estimated minimum percentage of the cardiovascular budget for which hospital physicians were directly responsible. RESULTS. Phase 1: Initial analyses of prescribing data revealed that the practice spent 7% more of its budget on cardiovascular medication than the rest of the area board. The top 10 cardiovascular medicines (which accounted for 52% of the cardiovascular budget) were identified. Phase 2: Screening the notes of the patients currently receiving one of the top 10 drugs, revealed that hospital-led prescribing was responsible for 74% of the cost of the top 10 cardiovascular drugs. Hospital-led prescribing was responsible for a minimum of 38% of the total cardiovascular drug spend. CONCLUSIONS. The cardiovascular budget of the general practice under study was greatly influenced by decisions on drug choices made by hospital consultants.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||The Pharmaceutical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
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