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10% of medicines ‘overprescribed’ in England: Report

London, Sep 23 (IANS) About 10 per cent of medicines dispensed in primary care in England were “overprescribed”, increasing the risk of adverse effects, a government report has revealed.

The report led by Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical prescribing officer for England, found 10 per cent of prescription items dispensed through primary care in England are either inappropriate for those patients’ circumstances and wishes, or could be better served with alternative treatments, reports Xinhua news agency.

The report, released on Wednesday, also found that about one in five people aged 65 and over are being admitted to hospitals in England suffering adverse effects of medicines prescribed by doctors.

It showed that 15 per cent of people are taking five or more medicines a day, increasing the risk of adverse effects.

“The more medicines a person takes, the higher chance there is that one or more of these medicines will have an unwanted or harmful effect.

“Some medicines, such as those to reduce blood pressure, can also increase the risk of falls amongst the frail and elderly,” said the report.

Responding to the report, UK Health 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.”

–IANS

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