Ministers to crack down on overprescription of medicines on the NHS

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The government is cracking down on the NHS’s overuse of drugs by encouraging doctors to challenge prescriptions given in hospitals and pointing patients to local wellness charities.

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The move, which is backed by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, comes after the government commissioned review found that 10 per cent of the medicines prescribed by doctors, nurses and other primary care workers are not wanted or needed.

Ministers have accepted all of the recommendations set out in the review, led by Dr Keith Ridge, England’s Chief Medicines Officer, which seeks to “support shared decision-making between physicians and patients” and “to reduce dependence on drugs”. for cultural change”. .


Health professionals should instead increase “social prescriptions”, it continues, which include “helping patients to improve their health and well-being by connecting them to community services that may be run by councils or local charities.” “.

The overhaul will be led by a new national clinical director for prescribing, who will oversee a three-year program of changes, including “empowering” GPs to cancel prescriptions made in hospitals and their actions for patients. Includes creation of an online platform to log adverse drugs. Effect.

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Mr Javid has said he looks forward to making recommendations of the “important” review.

“This is an incredibly important review that will have a lasting impact on people’s lives and improve the way drugs are prescribed,” he said.

“15 percent of people take five or more medications a day, in some cases doing more to cope with the side effects of another drug, to listen to patients and help clinical teams deal with oversubscribing. is required.”

The review found that one in five hospitalizations over the age of 65 were due to drug adverse effects, as well as 6.5 percent overall. It also recommends further research into why prescribing in excess adversely affects older people, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities.

While the NHS has come under significant pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, the review into overprescription dates back to the pandemic.

In December 2018, then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked Dr Ridge to research the prevalence of drugs for which either the harms outweigh the benefits or where patients don’t want or need them.


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