One-tenth of prescription drugs dispensed by general practitioners not needed, review finds


A tenth of prescription drugs dispensed by general practitioners are unnecessary, bringing the NHS drug bill to more than £ 9 billion, according to a landmark review.

The survey found that patients are routinely harmed by a “culture” of over-prescribing, with one-fifth of hospitalizations among retirees caused by adverse drug reactions.

The government-ordered review identifies “very significant” waste throughout the system, saying too often patients felt unable to interview doctors who did not lift their keyboards.

He found that an average of 20 prescriptions are now dispensed per capita each year, doubling in two decades. And 15 percent of patients were taking at least five medications a day.

The review, led by NHS chief pharmacist Dr Keith Ridge, said patients should be offered alternatives to medication, including exercise, talk therapy and social activities.

Check the medication

And that called for regular medication checks, with too many patients left on medication for years, if not decades, when it was no longer appropriate.

The review estimated that “at least” 10 percent of the 1.1 billion prescription items dispensed by general practitioners’ offices each year could be over-prescribed, meaning that a “very significant” portion of their £ 9.2 billion drug budget will be wasted.

It follows calls by MPs for a thorough spending review, after the government announced a £ 36bn boost to the NHS and social care, funded by an increase in national insurance.

About one in five hospitalizations in people over 65 was caused by side effects from medication. Some medications, such as blood pressure medications, can increase the risk of a fall, while other patients are harmed by the combined effects of a daily drug cocktail.


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