There is wide variation in the unit cost of a number of medicines prescribed across England, due to the way the reimbursement system is structured. Every month we estimate what could be saved if every organisation were prescribing as well as the best 10%. Read more...
This is a new, experimental feature. We'd love to hear your feedback .
We have developed a new method that identifies very large cost-saving opportunities for practices and Sub-ICB Locations in the NHS: between £100m and £400m a year. This is more than any previous advice such as “always prescribe generically”. Our tool automatically identifies the drugs with the biggest cost savings opportunities for each individual practice, or Sub-ICB Location, every month; and then helps them choose cheaper options. You can view a YouTube video demonstration here.
Our method is entirely new. Unlike more complex prescribing advice (“always use the cheapest drug in class”) our method does not require that patients switch to completely different drugs. Our full FAQ gives the detail, but in short: there can be huge variation in the price a practice or Sub-ICB Location pay for a treatment, even for the same drug at the same dose. It is well known that branded and generic versions of the same treatment will have different prices; but different specific “brands” of “branded generic” may also have different prices; and there are many other similar sources of variation in price. Our tool automatically identifies all the biggest cost-saving opportunities by examining variation in the price-per-unit of all treatments, and then compares every practice or Sub-ICB Location against the best 10% of most efficient prescribers, for every treatment. This is a massive piece of computation run by our Bennett Institute at the University of Oxford, every month. The cost savings can be viewed using this tool, ranked in order of which drug has the biggest cost saving opportunities. The full methodology and national findings are described in our paper here, and our measure of the impact of OpenPrescribing on a number of outcomes including PPU can be found in our paper here. The savings are down to you.
We have identified about £(…) of possible savings in NHS England in September 2023.
|Presentation||Possible savings in month||PPU||Target PPU||Quantity||Formulation swap|
In general, if pill A1 is expensive and pill A2 is cheap, the savings could be achieved by switching to prescribing as much as possible of pill A2. We don't identify A2 on your behalf, because there may be many reasons why particular switches might not make sense (see FAQ, below).
We do, however, provide charts for each presentation which show the distribution of different PPUs for all brands that have been prescribed in a given month. This can help identify brands (or generics) to which it might make sense to switch. Click the presentation name to drill down and view this data.
Read Frequently Asked Questions here.