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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1980 October; 30(219): 614–618.
PMCID: PMC2159744

Effect of the CURB campaign on barbiturate prescribing in Northern Ireland


Barbiturate prescribing in general practice in Northern Ireland was monitored from computer data on prescription pricing for the years 1966 to 1979, and subjected to two methods of statistical analysis.

Over the last decade a very marked decline in the prescribing of barbiturate hypnotics was accompanied by progressive decreases in barbiturate anti-epileptic and combination product utilization. During the 1975 to 1977 CURB campaign there was a statistically significant greater decrease in the total quantity of barbiturate hypnotics prescribed, but the downward trend in the numbers of prescriptions written was not significantly greater than before the campaign. The main effect of CURB, therefore, was to reduce the average quantity of barbiturate per prescription. The changes in barbiturate combination product prescribing between the CURB years were consistently large, whilst anti-epileptic barbiturate prescribing decreased less significantly towards the end of the campaign.

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Selected References

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  • Barraclough BM. Barbiturate prescribing: psychiatrists' views. Br Med J. 1976 Oct 16;2(6041):927–928. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Clift AD. Factors leading to dependence on hypnotic drugs. Br Med J. 1972 Sep 9;3(5827):614–617. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • Howie JG. Psychological medicine. Psychotropic drugs in general practice. Br Med J. 1975 Apr 26;2(5964):177–179. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • MacDonald JB, MacDonald ET. Nocturnal femoral fracture and continuing widespread use of barbiturate hypnotics. Br Med J. 1977 Aug 20;2(6085):483–485. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pawlson LG, Watkins R, Donaldson M. The cost of medical student instruction in the practice setting. J Fam Pract. 1980 May;10(5):847–852. [PubMed]

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