Drug companies and off label

News item from Pulse that following legal challenge by Novartis about off label prescribing of cheaper Lucentis that there is now talk of doctors not being allowed to prescribe off label if there is a licenced alternative.

This has nothing to do with protecting patients and everything to do with protecting profits.

Off label prescribing has caused lots of problems but the solution is to make sure it is done in a responsible way – two studies in Canada and the USA have found that around 70% are not done on good evidence.  Unfortunately in the UK  no one has been interested in discovering how much off label prescribing is done or how informed it is – a useful starting point to making changes to it.

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