Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thousands of patients prescribed high-risk drugs, Scottish study finds

Date:
June 21, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Thousands of patients in Scotland who are particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events were prescribed high-risk medications by their GPs which could potentially cause them harm, according to new research.

Thousands of patients in Scotland who are particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events (ADEs) were prescribed high-risk medications by their GPs which could potentially cause them harm, according to research published online in the British Medical Journal.

Although at least some of this prescribing will be appropriate because prescribers and patients are balancing risks and benefits when there may be no clearly 'correct' course of action, the study also finds that there was significant variation in the prescribing practices between the GPs surgeries surveyed. This variation could not be explained by the patient case mix which suggests that there is considerable scope to improve prescribing practices, say the researchers.

The authors, led by Professor Bruce Guthrie from Dundee University, say that previous studies have shown that GP prescribing can cause considerable harm, and they highlight that "adverse drug events (ADEs) account for 6.5% of all hospital admissions, over half of which are judged to be preventable."

Patients could be vulnerable to high risk drugs because of their age, other existing illnesses or because of other prescription medications they may be on. GPs need to be alert to these risk factors and be cautious about the drugs they prescribe to these patients, say the authors.

A number of medications or scenarios are already flagged up as high risk, for example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for certain patients, prescribing a new drug when a patient is on the blood-thinning medication warfarin, prescribing drugs when patients have heart failure and prescribing antipsychotic drugs for patients who have dementia.

Guthrie and colleagues expanded the list above and developed 15 indicators to examine how often patients vulnerable to ADEs were prescribed high-risk medication that could harm them.

The authors used the indicators to review data from 315 Scottish General Practices with 1.76 million patients, of which 139,404 (7.9%) were identified as being particularly vulnerable to ADEs.

The results show that 19,308 (13.9%) who were in the vulnerable group were prescribed one or more high-risk medications.

While the authors emphasise that not all high-risk prescribing is inappropriate they conclude that the study shows "that opportunities to improve primary care prescribing safety are considerable" across the UK.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Guthrie, C. McCowan, P. Davey, C. R. Simpson, T. Dreischulte, K. Barnett. High risk prescribing in primary care patients particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events: cross sectional population database analysis in Scottish general practice. BMJ, 2011; 342 (jun21 1): d3514 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d3514

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Thousands of patients prescribed high-risk drugs, Scottish study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621211630.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, June 21). Thousands of patients prescribed high-risk drugs, Scottish study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621211630.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Thousands of patients prescribed high-risk drugs, Scottish study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621211630.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins