The following press release was issued this afternoon to the media.

 

The NAGP is appealing to the HSE to discontinue the practice of online prescription validation in General Practice, until such time that medicines management is addressed in the new GP contract.  Events of the past week have served to highlight the unintended effect of introducing an administrative barrier to the wellbeing of patients and the administrative burden on GPs.

In relation to the issue on Versatis patches, the NAGP recognises the intention of the Medicines Management Programme to approach this from an economic perspective. However, a unilateral abrupt withdrawal of this medication has had unintended consequences that has undoubtedly affected patients’ wellbeing.  It also serves to highlight the fact that the HSE and GP representative bodies need to work together. We have additional concerns with the practice of NOAC prescription validation and feel GPs are prescribing these to the recognised guidelines as it is. This is reflected by the near automatic approval when they are applied for.  This would bring the purpose of the application on line into question in the first place.

The NAGP believes there is a need to rationalise prescribing in Ireland, but we have to manage this in a structured manner.  The NAGP supports Prof Michael Barry’s comment to approach this through a prescribing incentive scheme, which would result in savings, with those savings being directly invested back into the running of General Practice.  With GP contract negotiations expected to resume shortly we call on the HSE to engage with general practice and cease the practice of imposing unilateral arrangements in the absence of discussion and agreement with GPs.