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Risk of inappropriate drug monitoring and prescribing in UK surgeries revealed

Around one in 100 patients attending a UK GP surgery is at risk of receiving an inappropriate prescription, and around one in 250 are not being appropriately monitored, new study results suggest.

Using anonymised patient data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink up to April 1 2013, researchers from the universities of Manchester and Nottingham studied around one million adult patients from 526 general practices across the UK who were potentially at risk from a prescribing or monitoring error.

They found that around 5% of patients at risk had received a potentially inappropriate prescription, and around 12% had no record of appropriate monitoring.

The researchers said that older patients and those prescribed multiple repeat drugs had significantly higher risks of triggering a prescribing indicator, while younger patients with fewer repeat prescriptions were more at risk of triggering a monitoring indicator.

The study results emphasise the need to give due consideration to the risks of prescribing multiple drugs and the importance of regular drug reviews, especially for patients with multiple conditions, the authors said.

The study also found high

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Using anonymised patient data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink up to April 1 2013, researchers from the universities of Manchester and Nottingham studied around one million adult patients from 526 general practices across the UK who were potentially at risk from a prescribing or monitoring error.

They found that around 5% of patients at risk had received a potentially inappropriate prescription, and around 12% had no record of appropriate monitoring.

The researchers said that older patients and those prescribed multiple repeat drugs had significantly higher risks of triggering a prescribing indicator, while younger patients with fewer repeat prescriptions were more at risk of triggering a monitoring indicator.

‘The study results emphasise the need to give due consideration to the risks of prescribing multiple drugs and the importance of regular drug reviews, especially for patients with multiple conditions,’ the authors said.

The study also found high variation between practices for some indicators. The authors said this ‘suggests potential for improvement through targeted, practice level intervention’.

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