Addiction to prescription medicines

HD Photo arms crossedby Howard Duff, RPS Director for England

The recent Home Affairs Committee report which looked in part at addiction to prescription medicines created a lot of heat but not much light about the complex issues of dependency, addiction and misuse of medicines.

Despite the figure of 1.5 million addicts to prescription medicines being widely quoted, it is currently very difficult to know the true number of people affected. What’s needed is accurate data to identify the true number of people experiencing addiction problems with prescription medicines and I welcome the work being undertaken by the BMA and Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on this issue. Read more Addiction to prescription medicines

How many medicines make too many medicines?

by Neal Patel MRPharmS, RPS Head of Corporate Communications

Too many patients take too many medicines.  Polypharmacy, defined as the use of many medicines by one person, is increasingly common and here to stay.  Pharmacists see patients everyday who have difficulties with the large number of medicines they’ve been prescribed.  But is polypharmacy just bad practice, or a reflection of the complexity of modern healthcare?

A new report from the King’s Fund, Polypharmacy and Medicines Optimisation, shows how the practice has both negative and positive potential, depending on the quality of care the patient receives.  An important part of this care is how an individual is helped to understand and use their medicines to best effect – in short, medicines optimisation. Read more How many medicines make too many medicines?