In a new report out this week the BMA is highlighting how evidence-based prescribing protects patients? health. Evidence-based prescribing is underpinned by careful decision making based on current best evidence for the healthcare of individual patients.
The report, ?Evidence-based prescribing?, stresses how ineffective and over-prescribing can potentially harm patients.
For example, the over-prescribing of antibiotics can lead to drug resistance which in turn makes infections more difficult to treat and has been a major factor in the high numbers of MRSA and other hospital acquired infections.
Patients? expectations and media influence can be some of the reasons for inappropriate prescribing, said the BMA?s Head of Science and Ethics, Dr Vivienne Nathanson. She added:
?Sometimes doctors feel pressured to prescribe unnecessarily. When patients are unwell they may expect a prescription, but this may not always be the best outcome for the patient.
?The media can also play a part in raising patients? expectations. Media stories about Herceptin fuelled patient demand for the drug to be made available for treating early stage breast cancer. It was subsequently fast-tracked through NICE1.?
Evidence-based prescribing is essential in providing good quality, effective and safe healthcare to patients and this includes using medicines cost-effectively. It is vital that sufficient training on evidence-based prescribing is provided to medical students and to doctors throughout their career.