Latest QOF report shows increase in general practice achievement

NHS Digital has published its 2017–18 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) report on the prevalence of conditions managed in primary care in England and the achievements of general practices. The report uses data derived from information provided voluntarily by 94.8% of general practices (7100 in …

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ESPAUR report shows continuing decline in primary care antibiotic prescribing

The English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance (ESPAUR) has published its fifth annual report on antimicrobial resistance and prescribing trends up to the end of 2017. ESPAUR was established in 2013 to support Public Health England in its delivery of the UK Five …

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NICE publishes new antimicrobial prescribing guidance for urinary tract infections

NICE has published two new antimicrobial prescribing guidelines on the management of urinary tract infections (UTIs) – one for lower UTIs (also known as cystitis; NG109) and one for recurrent UTIs (NG112). NICE’s series of antimicrobial prescribing guidelines aim to provide evidence-based disease-specific advice to …

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Adalimumab biosimilars launched in the EU

Four new adalimumab biosimilar medicines have recently been launched in the EU. Amgevita (Amgen), Imraldi (Biogen), Hyrimoz (Sandoz) and Hulio (Mylan) are all biosimilars referencing AbbVie’s Humira, which went off patent in October.
Adalimumab is a monoclonal antibody targeting tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha. It is …

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EMA restricts fluoroquinolone and quinolone prescribing

In light of reports of rare but disabling side-effects of fluoroquinolone and quinolones, the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has recommended that the use of these antibiotics is restricted.
Fluoroquinolones and quinolones are broad-spectrum antibiotics that are effective against a wide range of Gram-negative and …

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NICE publishes heart failure guidance

NICE has published a new guideline on the diagnosis and management of chronic heart failure in adults (NG106), updating the previous guidance published back in 2010.
Key changes in the new guidance include the recommendation for the primary care team, working in collaboration with the specialist …

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Routine child vaccinations decline in England

Coverage of nine of the 12 routine vaccinations given to infants and young children declined in England in 2017–18 compared with the previous year, according to a new report from NHS Digital. Coverage increased for just one vaccination and remained stable for two.
Coverage is defined …

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High Court rules bevacizumab can be prescribed for wet AMD

Companies Novartis and Bayer have lost their legal case to prevent the off-label use of Roche’s anti-angiogenic therapy bevacizumab (Avastin) to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Like Novartis’ and Bayer’s own licensed treatments – ranibizumab (Lucentis) and aflibercept (Eylea) – bevacizumab is an anti-vascular endothelial …

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Cardiovascular health reduces dementia risk

Aiming to keep systolic pressure at or below 120mmHg is associated with a lower risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia compared with a target of 140mmHg, according to a new analysis of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).
SPRINT has already shown that intensive …

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NICE drafts guidance on acute cough

NICE’s proposed guidance for minimising antibiotic prescribing for acute cough attracted the attention of the lay media with the publication of its draft guideline for consultation.
The proposed guidance endorses the advice of professional bodies down the years not to prescribe antibiotics for acute cough (less …

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