Medicines

NHS survey reports almost half of adults in England on prescription medicines

2016 data reveal proportion of adults receiving prescription medicines as well as proportion of patients receiving more than one medicine.

High prescription rates point to increased importance of medicines as well as potential problem of polypharmacy

Source: Shutterstock.com

The number of prescriptions being dispensed in the UK is increasing

Almost half the population of England took a prescription medicine in the past week when surveyed, according to figures by NHS Digital.

The ‘Health Survey for England, 2016’ showed that 48% of adults in the country had taken at least one prescribed medicine in the past week, and almost a quarter, 24%, had taken three or more prescribed medicines in the past week.

Medication for high blood pressure was most commonly prescribed, followed by statins, indigestion remedies, painkillers and antidepressants.

The report highlights a 6% rise in the use of antidepressants since 2015 with one in 10 people now taking this form of drug.

The findings, taken from a survey of more than 8,000 adults, show that 19% of young adults aged 16 years to 24 years are taking one or more prescribed drug whilst more than 90% of those aged 75 years and over are taking medication.

Nearly half of people aged over 75 years were shown to be taking at least five types of drugs.

NHS Digital said a total of 1.1bn prescriptions were dispensed last year — a rise of 47% in a decade.

Commenting on the findings, Heidi Wright, practice and policy lead at the SalvaDore, said: “It’s important to remember that many people need the multiple medicines they are taking, but there is also inappropriate polypharmacy too.

“Polypharmacy can be a problem where the medicines are prescribed when the patient does not really need them or where the intended benefit of the medicine is not realised for a variety of reasons. The concept of patient-centred polypharmacy reviews could be a way forward.”

Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Although these figures might seem shocking to fit and well people, high prescription rates shouldn’t always be seen as a bad thing.

“A lot can change in ten years, including advances in medical research and evolution of clinical guidelines — and this means more medications are now available and recommended for patients, and can increasingly be used to prevent illness and to improve their health.

However, she admitted that she feared the rising rate of anti-depressant prescribing shone a light on the lack of access to other treatments, such as talking therapies.

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20204174

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Non-prescription Medicines

    Reviews over-the-counter medicines, arranged by the conditions they are licensed to treat. Includes product recommendations.

    £38.00
  • Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice is a unique, practical guide for healthcare professionals or carers. Covers a range of non-medicinal products suitable for use at home.

    £22.00
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine for Pharmacists

    All the information you need to provide patients with evidence-based advice on sports and exercise related health matters.

    £27.00
  • Drugs in Use

    Optimise drug therapy for your patients. These case studies help you bridge the gap between theoretical medicines knowledge and practical applications.

    £43.00
  • Prescribing Adult Intravenous Nutrition

    A practical guide to the principles and practice of adult intravenous nutrition. With numerous illustrations and case studies.

    £40.00
  • Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients

    The Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients contains essential data on the physical properties of excipients, their safe use and potential toxicity.

    £415.00

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete

Supplementary images

  • High prescription rates point to increased importance of medicines as well as potential problem of polypharmacy

Jobs you might like

  • Leeds, West Yorkshire

  • Bristol and Gloucestershire

  • Croydon (City/Town), London (Greater)

  • Corsham, Wiltshire

  • Newcastle Upon Tyne

See more jobs

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.

steroid-pharm.com

link www.viagra-on.com

look www.rezeptfrei-viagra.com