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Thursday 24th May 2018

Patients take drugs wrongly

4th August 2008

About 20% of patients are taking their prescription medicines in the wrong way.


Lloydspharmacy surveyed 2,000 people and found that patients were misreading labels, taking the wrong dose or taking their drugs at the wrong time.

The findings comes as new figures from the NHS Information Centre show that the number of prescriptions written in 2007 in England has risen by 59% to 796 million from 1997.

With two thirds of prescriptions provided to people over 60, patients in that age bracket on average received 42.4 items per head last year, compared to 22.3 items in 1997.

But it also emerged from the Lloydspharamcy study that the biggest problem in taking medicines wrongly was among the elderly.

Andy Murdock, pharmacy director for Lloydspharmacy, said: "We know that many patients choose not to complete their course of medication, but this study reveals a different type of problem - patients who, for whatever reason, take their medicines incorrectly.

"Our pharmacists have reported many instances where patients have been confused by their medicines. One patient set out a range of medicines and described the frequency and dosage for each. It turns out that for several months she had been taking a sleeping pill first thing in the morning."

Patients taking a range of medicines can be offered a free medicines use review (MUR).

Lloydspharmacy said 55% of its 500,000 MURs have resulted in a recommendation from the pharmacist that the patient change their medicine taking routine in some way with 25% leading to a GP referral.


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Friday 8th August 2008 @ 4:26

Lloyds give invaluable advice on the use of medicines and other pharmacists should follow their lead and offer patients a medicine review. It is very easy for anyone to confuse similarly shaped and coloured tablets. Sleeping pills should be kept separate from other medicines.

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