New research highlights importance of appropriate prescribing and medicines management, says RCGP

Publication date: 12 June 2018

Responding to new research published in JAMA today, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Firstly, it is important to remember that this is a US-based study, so relates to a different health system than in the UK, with different means of patients obtaining prescription medication, and different systems to manage patient records.

"However, depression is a serious medical condition that can have terrible consequences for patients and their families, if not managed appropriately. This new research highlights the importance of appropriate prescribing and medicines management.

"GPs in the UK are highly trained to prescribe, taking into account the social, psychological and physical factors potentially impacting on their health. We will also consider the patient's full medical record, including any medications they are currently taking, or have taken in the past, and how different drugs can potentially interact with each other.

"The research also highlights how vital it is that patients disclose any medication they may be taking that the GP might not be aware of, or to the pharmacist if buying medication over the counter – and that all medication is clearly labelled, including potential side-effects, to allow patients to make an informed decision about whether to take it.

"GPs will only prescribe medication if they think it is in the best interests of an individual patient, following a full and frank discussion with the patient, including about potential risks and benefits to the patient's long-term health and wellbeing."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 765

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.

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