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 March 4, 2015 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 March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) — After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) — Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
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