Randomised controlled trial of two brief interventions against long-term benzodiazepine use: cost effectiveness

McAvoy, Brian R. (2008) Randomised controlled trial of two brief interventions against long-term benzodiazepine use: cost effectiveness. Addiction Research and Theory, 16 4: 309-317. doi:10.1080/16066350801900297

Author McAvoy, Brian R.
Title Randomised controlled trial of two brief interventions against long-term benzodiazepine use: cost effectiveness
Journal name Addiction Research and Theory   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1606-6359
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/16066350801900297
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 16
Issue 4
Start page 309
End page 317
Total pages 9
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Language eng
Subject 111717 Primary Health Care
92 Health
920414 Substance Abuse
Abstract Previous findings have indicated that a letter from a patient's General Practitioner (GP) and a short GP consultation leads to reduced intake among long-term benzodiazepine (BZD) users. To compare the cost-effectiveness and potential cost savings of these two brief interventions. Economic evaluation conducted alongside a prospective randomised controlled trial from the perspective of the NHS. A total of 273 long-term BZD users (=>6 mos) at seven general practices and regarded by their GPs as suitable to take part in the study within the Newcastle and North Tyneside District Health Authority were identified from repeat prescription computer records. Patients were randomised to usual GP care + assessment only or the offer of a short consultation (12 mins approx) with the patient's GP (or practice pharmacist/practice nurse) or a letter signed by the GP advising gradual reduction in BZD intake. Economic measures taken were: costs of intervention; savings (costs) of changes in health service use from before to after intervention; savings to the NHS from reductions in drug use and dispensing costs; total costs of brief intervention; simulations of savings (costs) extrapolated to the District Health Authority. The letter was the more cost-effective intervention when taking into account changes in health service use and savings to the drugs bill. If all GPs in Newcastle and North Tyneside screened long-term BZD users on their lists and sent the letter studied here to those considered suitable to receive it, it is estimated that savings to the District Health Authority would be a minimum of £4.9 million per annum. Routine implementation of the letter intervention in general practice throughout the UK would result in large financial gains to the NHS. These savings represent a conservative estimate of savings to the public sector, as wider savings to the social care system may also be expected as a result of the policy.
Keyword Long term bezodiazapine use
Brief intervention
General practice
Cost saving
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Discipline of General Practice Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 06 Apr 2009, 20:39:24 EST by Gillian Vey on behalf of General Practice SOMC