Evidence into practice: key therapeutic topics

What are the gaps between the evidence base for some important therapeutic areas and current prescribing data? The January MeReC bulletin from the National Prescribing Centre (NPC) is the first in a series of three highlighting some possible areas for action, starting with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), antibiotic prescribing (especially quinolones and cephalosporins), and high-dose inhaled corticosteroids in asthma.

For example, the prescribing data show wide variation in the volumes of NSAIDS being prescribed and in the proportion that are ibuprofen or naproxen. Prescribing of NSAIDs should be reviewed routinely, especially for high-risk groups, and most of this prescribing should be for low-dose ibuprofen or for naproxen.