Ongoing activities to optimize the quality and efficiency of lipid-lowering agents in the Scottish National Health System : influence and implications

Leporowski, Axel and Godman, Brian and Kurdi, Amanj and MacBride-Stewart, Sean and Ryan, Margaret and Hurding, Simon and do Nascimento, Renata CRM and Bennie, Marion and Morton, Alec (2018) Ongoing activities to optimize the quality and efficiency of lipid-lowering agents in the Scottish National Health System : influence and implications. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 18 (6). pp. 655-666. ISSN 1473-7167

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    Abstract

    Introduction and aims: Prescribing of lipid lowering agents (LLAs) has increased worldwide including in Scotland with increasing prevalence of coronary heart disease, and higher dose statins have been advocated in recent years. There have also been initiatives to encourage prescribing of generic versus patented statins to save costs without compromising care. There is a need to document these initiatives and outcomes to provide future direction. Method: Assessment of utilization (items dispensed) and expenditure of key LLAs (mainly statins) and expenditure between 2001 and 2015 in Scotland alongside initiatives. Results: Multiple interventions have increased international non-proprietary name (INN) prescribing (99% for statins) and preferential prescribing of generic versus patented statins, and reduced inappropriate prescribing of ezetimibe. This resulted in a 50% reduction in LLA expenditure between 2001 and 2015 despite a 412% increase in utilization, increased prescribing of higher dose statins (71% in 2015) especially atorvastatin following generic availability, and reduced prescribing of ezetimibe (reduced by 72% between 2010 and 2015). As a result, the quality of prescribing has improved. Conclusion: Generic availability coupled with multiple measures has resulted in appreciable shifts in statin prescribing behavior and reducing ezetimibe prescribing, resulting in improvements in both the quality and efficiency of prescribing.