Main objectives: to know the proportion of induced prescription (IP) in Area Bilbao and its source, the proportion of cost IP accounts for, the proportion of IP in the main therapeutic groups, the attitude of GP when requested for prescription and its influence on cost, the proportion of disagreement with requested prescription, the reasons for disagreement, and the proportion with letter from specialist.
Secondary objectives: to know the proportion of IP in the remaining therapeutic groups, in drugs of low clinical value, in generic drugs and in new drugs with low or no therapeutic improvement.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study.Setting. Primary health care.
Participants: Drugs prescribable under National Health Service prescribed by and/or requested to GPs. Main results. 7.922 drugs were analysed. Type of prescription: IP, 48.3% (95% CI, 47.2-49.4); GP prescription (GPP), 50.6% (95% CI, 49.5-51.7); unknown source, 1,1% (95% CI, 0.9-1.3). Main source, public specialist (72.2%), private specialist (16.6%). IP accounted for 62.5% of cost. In the most prescribed therapeutic group, central nervous system (24.2%), IP, 39.8%; GPP, 58.9%; in cardiovascular system (19.1%), IP, 56.2%; GPP, 43.1%. 98.4% of requested prescription was actually prescribed, 1.2% was changed and 0.4%, suppressed. Proportion of disagreement, 11%; reasons for disagreement, no need for medical treatment (23.9%), therapeutic group (34.4%), active ingredient (13.2%), brand name (28.5%). There was a 62.4% with letter from specialist.
Conclusions: Primary care is not accountable for a substantial proportion of prescription. GP prescribes a considerable proportion of drugs without agreement. It would be necessary a system that allows to separate the cost by care levels and also improve their communication.