Health and Fitness

NHS is wasting up to £568m a year on pointless pills  


NHS is wasting up to £568m a year on pointless pills as thousands of patients are given medication they don’t need, study shows

  • The NHS is wasting up to £568 million a year on pills that patients do not need
  • When they try to quit many suffer withdrawal symptoms such as abdominal cramps
  • The amount wasted each year is enough to pay the salaries of up to 10,000 more GPs or 20,000 nurses










The NHS is wasting up to £568million a year on pills that patients do not need and can leave them with dangerous addictions, a study shows.

Doctors in England are dishing out habit-forming drugs such as opioids, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and sleeping pills to hundreds of thousands of people who should not be on them.

When they try to quit, many suffer severe withdrawal symptoms such as abdominal cramps, blurred vision and loss of appetite.

In some cases, three out of four prescriptions were found to be completely unnecessary, according to the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry.

Roughly half the amount being needlessly spent each year – £288million – goes on highly addictive painkilling opioid medicines.

The amount wasted each year is enough to pay the salaries of up to 10,000 more GPs or 20,000 nurses.

Doctors in England are dishing out habit-forming drugs such as opioids, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and sleeping pills to hundreds of thousands of people who should not be on them

Campaigners fear this inappropriate prescribing is behind the rise in drug dependence which the Daily Mail has repeatedly highlighted in its drive to save the prescription pill victims.

In 2019, Public Health England – since replaced by the UK Health Security Agency –admitted ‘hundreds of thousands’ of patients had become dependent on medicines and pledged to tackle the problem.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic obstructed those plans, doctors and MPs are now calling for immediate action to help desperate patients hooked on pills.

Backing the call, Joanna Moncrieff (pictured), a psychiatry professor at University College London, added: 'We [the NHS] are prescribing lots of drugs that are harmful... and we are doing that on a vast scale

Backing the call, Joanna Moncrieff (pictured), a psychiatry professor at University College London, added: ‘We [the NHS] are prescribing lots of drugs that are harmful… and we are doing that on a vast scale

Danny Kruger, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for prescribed drug dependence, said: ‘Many people have had their lives devastated by prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal, through no fault of their own. We now need to get on with the job of providing [support services] as soon as possible.’

Backing the call, Joanna Moncrieff, a psychiatry professor at University College London, added: ‘We [the NHS] are prescribing lots of drugs that are harmful… and we are doing that on a vast scale.’

Commenting on the research, published today in the journal Addictive Behaviours, the Department of Health and Social Care said plans to tackle the issue will be finalised later this year.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close