Which 2 drugs are on Ireland’s new “preferred drugs” list?

ireland preferred drugs (psyberartist)

The newly-established HSE Medicines Management Programme has introduced Ireland's first "preferred drugs" list, identifying preferred proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and statins for patients with peptic ulcer disease and/or reflux and high cholesterol respectively. The HSE is asking doctors to prescribed the preferred drugs in order to save money. There are 5 PPIs on the market, and 5 statins – but which drugs are in the preferred list?

The preferred PPI is lansoprazole, and the preferred statin is simvastatin. The HSE reckon that if 50% of all PPI prescriptions were lansoprazole instead of other PPIs on the market, the HSE could save about 7.5 million euros. Similarly, if 25% of all prescribed statins were simvastatin, the HSE could save about 8 million euros.

"Using the preferred drugs identified by the Medicines Management Programme makes sense for the patient, prescriber, and for the taxpayer," said Prof Michael Barry, clinical lead for the Medicines Management Programme. "Drugs and medicines can be a significant cost for a household and are a key area targeted for savings by the HSE. Cost-effective prescribing is one of the important ways in which we can achieve the necessary savings. The Medicines Management Programme is aiming to secure €20million in savings in 2013 and, importantly, savings achieved in this way do not impact on the provision of frontline services. The HSE is urging GPs and all prescribers to use the preferred PPI – Lansoprazole – and the preferred Statin – Simvastatin – when prescribing for their patients as this will save their patients money and deliver significant savings for the taxpayer."

How do the costs of PPIs and statins in Ireland stack up? Below is the data from the HSE.

PPIs in Ireland (Pricing of PPI on the GMS (Price per pack))

Lansoprazole (Zoton Fastab)
15 mg = €6.90
30 mg = €13.72

Pantoprazole (Protium)
20 mg = €7.60
40 mg = €14.06

Rabeprazole (Pariet)
10 mg = €11.39
20 mg = €17.85

Omeprazole (Losec Mups)
20 mg = €14.21
40 mg = €28.38

Esomeprazole (Nexium)
20 mg = €19.76
40 mg = €30.50

Statins in Ireland (Pricing of statins on GMS (price per pack))

Simvastatin (Zocor)
20 mg = €5.92
40 mg = €5.92

Fluvastatin (Lescol)
20 mg = €5.28
40 mg = €11.66

Pravastatin (Lipostat)
20 mg = €12.44
40 mg = €15.55

Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
5 mg = €13.77
10 mg = €17.84

Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
10 mg = €13.86
20 mg = €21.86

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