NHS consulting on Ending Amiodarone and Droneda... - Thyroid UK

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NHS consulting on Ending Amiodarone and Dronedarone Prescriptions & Other Low Evidence Treatments

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from Medscape


NHS England is to consult on plans to stop funding more low evidence treatments, including silk clothes for people with dermatitis and eczema and emollient bath and shower products.

Already it has ordered an end to the prescribing of 18 low value items which are available over the counter, such as paracetamol and cough mixture, used to treat minor conditions.

Eight Products

There are eight items NHS England is planning to stop funding:

Silk garments – because of their low clinical effectiveness.

Bath and shower emollient preparations to be substituted with 'leave-on' emollients.

Aliskiren – for blood pressure, because of a lack of evidence to determine its suitability for use in resistant hypertension.

Amiodarone – used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. NHS England is advising it is no longer initiated in primary care for any new patient.

Dronedarone – used to treat atrial fibrillation. No longer to be prescribed in primary care for any new patient.

Minocycline – for acne because of an increased risk of adverse effects.

Expensive blood glucose testing strips for type 2 diabetes to be replaced with cheaper but equally effective products. Prescribers in primary care should not initiate blood glucose testing strips that cost >£10 for 50 for any new patient.

Expensive needles for pre-filled and reusable insulin pens for diabetes to be replaced with the most cost-effective option. Primary care prescribers should not initiate insulin pen needles that cost >£5 per 100 for any new diabetes patient.

It's predicted the changes could save the NHS almost £70 million a year.

New regulations come into force next week on gluten-free products restricting prescriptions to bread and gluten-free baking mixes.

In a prepared statement NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, said: "The NHS is one of the most efficient health services in the world but, as part of the long-term plan for the NHS, we’re determined to make taxpayers' money go further and drive savings back into frontline care.

"It is essential the NHS should not be paying for anything which has been proven to be ineffective or where there are safer or cheaper alternatives."


The national consultation is open to all CCGs, the public and patients, and any relevant interest group or body.

It'll be open for 3 months from 28th November 2018 until 28th February 2019.

5 Replies

And will the £70 million they save be invested back into the NHS? Probably not :(

How do they also know the 'cost-effective' insulin strips and needles will be just as accurate or effective? Why don't they just invest in new technology for diabetics that is more accurate that will avoid the use of test strips and needles before making this decision?

Some people also have very debilitating eczema and need options.

I kind of get paracetamol etc but I really think this withdrawal of medications and using cheaper alternatives before seeming to do any sort of rigorous research beforehand is dangerous.

Personally I think it would have made more sense to invest in better technology that could save money in the long run as well as waiting times.

I mean do they really need to send me a letter every time I have an appointment etc, surely an email will do? They could probably save £70million on paper.

Perhaps if they treated hypothyroid patients when they first presented with symptoms instead of waiting until they have multiple problems they might be able to save a fortune too.

Agreed! The amount of scans they could save on!

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I don’t know why any GP would be prescribing amiodarone anyway, its a horrible drug with many side effects. There are much better options. Personally I would like the nhs to still be there for my children and their children. If that means advising people to buy their own bath products to save some money that’s a good thing. Given that a large number of CCGs are in deficit apparently it’s no surprise that they would want to reduce prescribing costs for things that can be bought from the supermarket.

To me the fact that all prescriptions are free once on thyroxine is scandalous. Restrict it to thyroid meds only

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