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Anti-psychotic drugs 'less likely to be picked up by patients'

Health professionals have been advised that patients who are prescribed anti-psychotic drugs are the least likely to pick up their medicine.

Figures provided by the NHS Information Centre for England show that of all the anti-psychotic drugs prescribed by clinicians, only 85.1% of them are picked up by the patient.

This compares with 98.5% of other drugs that are prescribed.

The data, from 145 GP practices and covering the period between 2004 and 2008, shows that the overall collection figure also dropped from 99.6% in 2005 to 98.5% in 2008.

It has been suggested that better recording systems now employed in GP practices could be responsible to some extent for this difference.

Older people were shown to be better at collecting their prescriptions as GP practices with a higher amount of elderly patients had superior redemption rates compared to practices with large amounts of young people.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: “A patient may not redeem their prescription for several reasons such as deciding they don’t need the medication or a reluctance to take a drug they have had side effects from previously.

“A patient may have lost their prescription or obtained their medication through another source - such as during a stay in hospital.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • Oh..... my........ God!

    This underlines decades old thinking that psychotic patients often lack insight into their condition (often including paranoid features) and as such are more likely to be pretty poor at complying with medication regimes.

    I notice that there is no hint of what the compliance rate is once the medicines have been dispensed - now that would have been relevant findings.

    On another note it is pointed out that the elderly are far better at picking up their scripts, but did the survey take into account that people over 60 have free prescriptions? So is the relatively low uptake by younger people an indication that they will go to the doctor, get a script but then lack the money to pay for it?

    Far more interesting questions to be addressed rather than the blindingly obvious "people with altered mental states aren't as good at picking up their prescription for mind altering drugs".

    Rant over..... for now!

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  • the elderly may pick them up but it does not necessarily mean they will take them cf article in DT where bag of medication was found in garden shed when elderly relative died!

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  • there may be more individuals on antipsychotics, with harmful side effects, than actually need them, especially the elderly.

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