Tackling overprescribing

This Editorial features in the current BMJ. It is worth reading in full. It begins with this headline:


In the previous post I shared  original research, which maps conflicts of interest, which is also published in the current BMJ. This research reveals that industry is FLOURISHING in the ‘healthcare ecosystem’ and concludes that: “Policies for conflict of interests and publicly available data are lacking, suggesting that enhanced oversight and transparency are needed to protect patient care from commercial influence and to ensure public trust”.

What follows is just one example [it happens to relate to the specialty of psychiatry, as this was the field I worked in for 25 years as an NHS doctor]:

The above Editorial was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2006. The “review of depression” on which the the Editorial was based was funded by ELI LILLY and BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM. The Editorial explored “under-recognised” and “under-treated” painful symptoms in depression.

15 years have passed since this influential editorial was disseminated to prescribing psychiatrists and doctors. In that time antidepressant prescribing has risen year-on-year: such that in Scotland nearly 1 in 4 of the adult population are now taking an antidepressant.

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