Patients should be checked systematically to ensure that they are not being harmed by their medication. Through case studies of prescriptions of antipsychotics to older adults in the UK, we have shown that if healthcare professionals systematically checked, harm could be prevented. Healthcare professionals often place too much faith in the medication they prescribe. Prescribed medicines benefit between 4% and 25% of patients, but the harm caused by adverse drug reactions (ADRs) can outweigh these benefits. For example, 11% of hospitalised patients experience adverse effects from their medication, with 0.25% dying of ADRs. Up to 37% of patients with cognitive impairment may experience similar kinds of harm. Yet healthcare systems have failed to adopt standard procedures for checking for these harms, with many professionals finding it difficult to distinguish the negative effects of medication from other forms of illness. This, in turn, gives rise to more prescriptions, and more harm from medication.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Atlas of Science|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Aug 2020|