Health chiefs are considering stopping prescriptions for drugs of “limited clinical value” in a bid to plug a £1.8 million black hole.
The Aberdeen City Integration Joint Board (IJB), along with the other IJBs in Grampian, is facing “significant overspends” in its budgets for prescribing.
A paper, to be considered by the Aberdeen City IJB, said the current projection is for an overspend of around £1.8m for 2017/18.
The report blames a number of external factors, including that a range of medicines are agreed as in short supply in the UK, and prices have increased above the normal reimbursement rate for pharmacies.
This is causing a “significant financial pressure” for NHS Grampian of £2.3m to £3m.
In a bid to save around £55,000 the Primary Care Prescribing Group has recommended implementing a policy of no new patients for certain medications and also reducing or stopping prescriptions for existing patients who receive these drugs.
The drugs include herbal treatments, omega-3 fatty acid compounds, a supplement used in cardiovascular disease, and a paracetamol and Tramadol combination product for pain relief but cheaper when prescribed separately.
Other drugs which have been identified as having “limited clinical value” include Trimipramine, an antidepressant and migraine medication but for which there are “cheaper alternatives” available.
It added: “It is estimated that around £55,000 of spend could be released within the city prescribing budget if changes to the prescribing of these products was implemented.
“There are other drugs of limited clinical value prescribed in Aberdeen.
“It is recommended that the chief officer is instructed to prepare a report detailing how these drugs could be de-prescribed, the risks of doing so and the consultations required.”