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Prescription drug use rising

29th March 2010

According to new research people in Britain are taking more prescriptions drugs than ever before.


A paper, named 'A Pill for Every Ill', has found that the average amount of prescriptions per head has increased from eight to over 16 over the course of 20 years.

The paper's author, Professor Joan Busfield from Essex University, said we were no longer a nation of stoics and were becoming more like the French, who traditionally turn to medicines to cure health issues.

Professor Busfield argued in her paper, which was published in the Social Science and Medicine journal, that people in Britain were taking pills even though they were healthier and had greater lifespans.

She said: "I think drugs are being overused. The population is getting healthier and healthier, longevity is increasing, but we are using more and more drugs." 

Professor Busfield said pharmaceutical companies were "disease-mongering" by putting conditions such as ADHD and high cholesterol into the category of diseases in order to inflate their earnings.

She said manufacturers "intensively marketed" their products in order to convince doctors to use them and offered incentives such as branded pens to doctors.

She added: "Companies claim such promotional activity is designed to inform practitioners about new...products. And practitioners themselves...usually argue their prescribing is not influenced by industry's endeavours. However, the evidence indicates it is and that even small gifts can influence behaviour."


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Article Information

Title: Prescription drug use rising
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 14515
Date Added: 29th Mar 2010


The Independent

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