Ever since they were launched, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been regarded as profligate prescription interventions and have become a favourite target for pharmacy advisers. Now that they are cheap, with generic omeprazole 20 mg daily costing £1.88 per month (£24.51 per annum) in the UK, it is time to ask whether this status should be reviewed, whether there are areas where the message should be reversed and whether there are any circumstances in which the extra cost of branded PPIs or combined preparations is justified. Equally, with the recognition of an extended toxicity profile, is prescribing profligacy not an economic but a safety issue?
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