The Preferred Drugs initiative identifies a single ‘preferred drug’ within a therapeutic drug class, and offers prescribers useful guidance on selecting, prescribing and monitoring this drug for a particular condition. Prescribers are encouraged to make the preferred drug their drug of first choice when prescribing a drug from that therapeutic class.
The preferred drug is selected following a thorough evaluation of the available evidence. Factors considered in the evaluation process include, but are not limited to clinical efficacy and effectiveness (‘how well the drug works’), dosing and administration (‘how much and how often must you take the drug’), drug interactions (‘does it affect other drugs taken at the same time’), side effects, cost, national prescribing trends, and national and international clinical guidelines. A consultation period is undertaken in which submissions from interested parties, including the pharmaceutical industry and professional bodies, are accepted for consideration in the review process.
To date, a number of Preferred Drugs have been selected by the Medicines Management Programme. The Preferred Drugs and their respective therapeutic classes are detailed below:
|Therapeutic Class||Preferred Drug|
|Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor||Ramipril|
|Angiotensin-II Receptor Blocker (ARB)||Candesartan|
|Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI)||Pantoprazole|
|Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI)||Venlafaxine|
|Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)||Citalopram|
|Urology (urinary incontinence, frequency and overactice bladder)||Tolterodine extended release (ER)|
|Calcium channel blocker|