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BMJ. 1993 Feb 20;306(6876):496-8.

Comparison of prescribing unit with index including both age and sex in assessing general practice prescribing costs.

Author information

1
Chainbridge Medical Partnership, Blaydon on Tyne.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine and compare the prescribing unit and a new prescribing index adjusting for age and sex in assessing general practice prescribing.

DESIGN:

Analysis of all prescriptions issued by two practices in one year. Use of data to derive a prescribing index adjusting for age and sex. Comparison of effect of prescribing unit and new index on relation between 80 practices' prescribing data and family health services authority average.

SETTING:

Newcastle and Gateshead Family Health Services Authorities. Two urban practices with eight doctors and combined list size of 16,300 patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Cost and number of prescriptions issued to each age and sex group. Effect of index on relation between practice data and family health services authority average.

RESULTS:

The number of items prescribed and total costs rose with age. Although total costs were greater for women than for men, individual items cost more for men aged 25-84. Comparison of data adjusted by the prescribing unit and the new index with authority averages produced no significant differences except in a few practices with skewed age-sex demography. Results with the two indexes differed by over 5% in 34% (27/80) of practices for costs and in 14% (11/80) for items prescribed.

CONCLUSIONS:

The age and sex profile of a practice does not explain interpractice variation in prescribing patterns. Other unidentified factors need to be considered.

PMID:
8448463
PMCID:
PMC1676796
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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