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.

Related Articles


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 October 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 October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 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