New review into prescription drug medication welcomed by RCGP

Publication date: 24 January 2018

Responding to the announcement of an independent review into prescription drug addiction by the Department of Health and Social Care, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“Addiction to any substance can have a devastating impact on a patient’s health and wellbeing – and that of their family and friends. We welcome this independent review as a means of better understanding the complex reasons behind addiction to prescription medication, and to shape our approach to tackling it.

“Many addictive medications, when prescribed and monitored correctly, and in line with clinical guidelines, can be very effective in treating a wide range of health conditions. But all drugs will have risks and potential side-effects.

“It is important not to automatically jump to the conclusion that more drugs being prescribed is always a bad thing. Advances in medical research mean that more medications are constantly becoming more available for patients, and they can increasingly be used to improve their health – and the nature of our NHS is that these medications are available to anyone who could benefit from them.

“GPs will always prescribe in the best interests of the individual patient in front of us, taking into account the physical, psychological and social factors that might be impacting their health. We will only prescribe medication after a frank conversation with the patient about the potential risks and benefits, and we will also conduct regular medication reviews in partnership with the patient.

“However, we know most patients would rather not be on long-term medication and where appropriate we will explore non-pharmacological treatments, but these – and this is particularly so for psychological therapies - are often scarce at community-level.

“We hope that conclusions from this review will include highlighting the need for greater provision of and access to alternative treatments in the community – and for those patients who do become addicted to prescription medications to have easy, consistent, but also confidential access to appropriate, high-quality support.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633/7410
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

The item has been added to your basket.

Continue shopping

Go to basket

This item is out of stock.

Continue shopping

The item is out of stock.

Yes Continue shopping

An error occured adding your item to the basket:

Continue shopping