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Evaluation of a sugar-free medicines campaign in North East England: Quantitative analysis of medicines use

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Anne Maguire, Emeritus Professor Andrew Rugg-Gunn, Dr Tim Butler


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Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a sugar-free medicines campaign using suitable prescribing and purchasing indicators. Basic research design: Quantitative analysis of sugar-free medicine use, before (1995) and after (1996) the campaign. Clinical setting: Two test and two control districts in north east England. Participants: General medical practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists. Intervention: A 12-month campaign involving development and distribution of information packs designed to increase the proportion of prescriptions dispensed sugar-free for paediatric use. Main outcome measures: Changes in the proportion of the following which were sugar-free: (a) for target prescribed medicines (i) number of prescriptions dispensed. (ii) number of prescribed daily amounts (PDA); (b) for target over the counter (OTC) medicines, (i) number of bottles sold, (ii) number of standard daily amounts (SDA) sold. Results: Quantitative analysis of prescriptions and OTC sales showed statistically highly significant changes towards sugar-free prescribing and dispensing of prescribed medicines but only small increases in the proportion of some sugar-free OTC sales. Conclusions: The impact of the campaign was shown to be greatest in changing prescribing habits of GPs with less effect on OTC medicine use. The outcome measures used were suitable for quantitative evaluation of the campaign. Post-campaign development: Sustainable changes in GPs' prescribing behaviour can be facilitated by software suppliers' modifications to computing software used for prescription writing.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maguire A, Evans DJ, Rugg-Gunn AJ, Butler TJ

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Community Dental Health

Year: 1999

Volume: 16

Issue: 3

Pages: 138-144

Print publication date: 01/09/1999

ISSN (print): 0265-539X

ISSN (electronic):

PubMed id: 10641071