The proposals - outlined in a consultation on a raft of new QOF measures - include three potential new indicators on cardiovascular prevention that would introduce the 10% threshold, as recommended by NICE since last summer.
But GP leaders have warned that such a move undermines the credibility of QOF and will encourage GPs to prescribe statins without discussion around whether patients should be taking them - something that will ‘jeopardise patient choice’.
The proposals come after NICE updated its lipid modification guidelines to recommend lowering the 10-year cardiovascular risk threshold at which GPs prescribe interventions, including statin therapy, from 20% to 10% - despite opposition from GP leaders and other leading clinicians who raised concerns the proposals would lead to ‘over-medicalisation’ of healthy people and divert GPs’ time and resources away from their unwell patients.
The QOF advisory committee subsequently agreed at their December meeting not to simply update the existing indicator on statin prescribing in line with the new guidelines, but instead use the upcoming consultation period to obtain feedback on potential new indicators.
The consultation, released today, sets out a number of proposals that would introduce the 10% risk threshold into QOF. They are:
They warned that eight out of the 12 members of the Nice panel which produced the guidelines had “direct financial ties” to firms which manufacture statins.