Sir: Bristow (Psychiatric Bulletin, August 1999, 23, 478–480) found 9.5% of psychiatrists said their trust restricted clozapine funding. By contrast, the Maudsley National Schizophrenia Fellowship (1998) survey of health authority pharmaceutical advisors reported in the Pharmaceutical Journal found clozapine funding restricted by 45% of health authorities. We have recently carried out a postal questionnaire of members of the UK Psychiatric Pharmacists Group on the use and evaluation of atypical antipsychotics. We received 82 replies giving a response rate of 45%. Eleven per cent of pharmacists reported their trust capped the number of patients prescribed clozapine. However, there was widespread use of measures by trusts to try and limit expenditure on atypicals, restricting the prescribing of atypicals to consultants only and the use of guidelines in which atypicals are not first line treatment for schizophrenia. Only 12% of trusts, our hospital among them, used no cost-containment measures.
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