Adherence to prescribing recommendations made on a provincial formulary.
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Guidance regarding appropriate and cost-effective use of prescription drugs is published in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary in the form of "therapeutic notes." We conducted a cross-sectional study of all residents of Ontario aged 66 and older who received a new prescription for one of two drugs, aliskiren or sitagliptin, between December 1, 2008 and March 31, 2012 to determine how frequently such guidance is followed. Approximately half of initial prescriptions for aliskiren and sitagliptin were prescribed in a manner that did not conform to the therapeutic note recommendations (51.4% and 49.3%, respectively). Given this high rate of non-conformance, policy makers may wish to use other mechanisms to influence prescriber behaviour to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare.
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