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  Issue 1 (2005)

Book Review
Ulrich Schwabe, Dieter Paffrath (Ed.)

Drug prescription report 2004
Current data, costs, trends and comments

Publishing house Springer, Berlin 2004, 1271 pages with 60 illustrations
29,95 Euro. ISBN 3-540-21359-7

The drug prescription report looks back on a 20-year tradition. A major essential innovation in the drug prescription report 2004 consists in the fact that so-called prescription profiles are now available regarding the major district physicians. Accordingly, it has been assessed in view of the 50 top-selling products "drugs prescribed by specialist physicians" to what extent the issue rational drug therapy in compulsory health insurance funds is practiced according to the criteria of the editor of the report.

Comprehensible in this context is the demand concerning the application of evidence-based products with the highest level of evidence possible. An additional criterion is the use of generics provided they are available. Furthermore, certain preparations are addressed as analogous products the use of which is at least to be critically assessed if for the given indication also related generics are available.

The author professor Fricke who has been active in the field of Dermatotherapy for years has cooperated with professor Merk, Aachen, in elaborating of the chapter Dermatics. In the summary entitled "cost reduction potentials" the authors conclude that dermatologists "have already made optimal use from the existing economic sources at generics, analogous products and contested drugs".

It is emphasized that the drug prescriptions of dermatologists show the fourth lowest percentage reduction potential in comparison to the average of all physician groups. By the way, it is noted that in the end the prescription of dermatics in the GKV has to form the basis for consideration.

To what extent this is done by dermatologists can probably not be numeralized on the basis of the data set underlying. The products stressed in view of substance properties are substantiated by the authors with the comment "improvement respectively innovation" without rendering a definition which fact the difference makes.

Accordingly 10 turnover-related major topical and systemical dermatics are emphasized, namely the number 1, Lamisil® tablets, as improvement, number 3, Batrafen® cream and other preparations, as improvement number 5, Psorcutan®, as innovation, likewise number 6 Loceryl®, as innovation.

Recognized in such a way are altogether five products, three as improvement, two as innovation. Within the two glucocorticoids for topical application within this group the number 7, Dermatop® is characterized as improvement, number 8, Ecural® as analogous product. The first pertinent generic ranks with Betagalen® on position 11.

Details of the prescription for the individual preparations and their assessment by the authors of the report can be found in the unchanged chapter solely elaborated by professor Fricke "Dermatics and Wound Treatment Agents". In the context of topical glucocorticoids it is here comparably responded to the assessment considering the new guideline dealing with the therapeutical index. Explicitly an "alternative allocation of local corticoids" is spoken of. Exemplary prednicarbate, methyl prednisolonaceponate and mometasone furoate as glucocorticosteroids are outlined "at which the wanted effects are significantly prevailing compared with the unwanted effects".

It is expressly not subject of the present brief review of the issue to debate the general stipulations of the drug prescription report. Irrespectively, it can nevertheless again be ascertained that the lecture supplies important information every year for the adept of external dermatotherapy. This likewise refers to the data presented concerning individual products - not least under the aspect of their development compared with the reporting period of the previous year - and also the development lines in their assessment.

It is expressly emphasized that current developments in view of scientific assessment of dermatics are taken up promptly. In this sense the issue can in turn be recommended this year.

Prof. Dr. med. H. C. Korting, Munich

The drug prescription report 2003 has also been subject to revision in DermoTopics. This article can be retrieved at the internet address, issue 1/2004. In that issue it had been determined that the report is in principle part of the indispensable lecture of experts in the field of dermopharmacy.


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