Mental health drugs over-prescribed12th January 2007
A third of mental health patients could be taking more medication than they need, according to a new report.
The Healthcare Commission found that patients were being over-prescribed, in some cases exceeding maximum dosages, and called for more involvement from pharmacists.
Research by the Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health found more than one in three people were being prescribed more than the recommended maximum dose of anti-psychotic drugs.
Pharmacists were key to improving prescribing habits, said the commission's report, which found two-thirds of reviews by pharmacists led to changes in prescriptions, with almost half of patients found to be using their medicines inappropriately. But almost a quarter of mental health wards had no pharmacist visits.
Patients in mental health trusts were also most likely to have problems with their medicines. Additionally, patients wanted more involvement in the medicines they were being prescribed.
The watchdog said management of medicines was vital to providing high quality and safe healthcare and called for mental health trusts and PCTs to improve their management of mental health prescribing.
The news has fuelled calls from campaigners for more effective individual drug reviews.
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Title: Mental health drugs over-prescribed
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1700
Date Added: 12th Jan 2007