An inquiry has been called for over-prescribing drugs which is said to be a growing problem here in the UK where we may be at risk of following in the footsteps of our American cousins who are said to be in somewhat of an “epidemic” for certain prescription drugs like opioids.
Experts are reportedly calling for a “Chilcot style” enquiry off the back of doctors apparently issuing too many prescription drugs that are leading to deaths.
Tens of thousands of people are thought to die each year as a result of an over-prescription of drugs as doctors may be relying too heavily on their use to treat patients.
Some experts believe that there are potentially millions of people across Europe who are using prescription drugs that are really of no benefit to them at all. As well as this being a huge cost burden for the NHS, given that prescription drugs are only partially funded by patients, there is the added risks of side-effects that come with drugs as well.
Some of these side-effects may be contributing to early deaths as the use of prescription drugs is said to be increasing year-on-year. Reportedly, over-prescribed medication is now said to be the third most common cause of death after cancer and heart disease.
Why is this happening?
Some believe that the added pressures on the NHS in terms of resources is pushing doctors to prescribe medications as opposed to properly investigating problems that are being presented to them. Advancements and developments in medication has certainly allowed for a greater volume of drugs becoming available for treating conditions and ailments, but when you look at the actual benefits and compare them with the risks from the potential side-effects, it’s thought that many would be far better off not using the drugs at all.
A problem with the over-prescription of drugs may well be another step toward an “epidemic” that some experts say is happening in the US, as more patients are reportedly being prescribed opioids and are ending up addicted to them when the benefits of their use, for some, are minimal, or non-existent.