One in 10 English drug prescriptions are pointless

One in 10 English drug prescriptions are pointless.

Ten percent of drug prescriptions in England are pointless, dangerous and waste money, according to a government review.

Useless prescriptions are als a leading cause of hospital admissions for the over-65s. Around one in five hospital admissions in over-65s are caused by the adverse effects of medicines, the review found.

The review also found that 10 per cent of the volume of prescription items dispensed through primary care in England are either inappropriate for that patients’ circumstances and wishes, or could be better served with alternative treatments.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said, “This is an incredibly important review which will have a lasting impact on people’s lives and improve the way medicines are prescribed.

“With 15 per cent of people taking five or more medicines a day, in some cases to deal with the side effects of another medicine, more needs to be done to listen to patients and help clinical teams tackle overprescribing,” he added on September 22.

Overprescribing describes a situation where people are given medicines they do not need or want, or where potential harm outweighs the benefit of the medication. It can happen when a better alternative is available but not prescribed, the medicine is appropriate for a condition but not the individual patient, a condition changes and the medicine is no longer appropriate, or the patient no longer needs the medicine but continues to be prescribed it.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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