Shocking news earlier today that over 30,000 people with learning disabilities and autism are being wrongly prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants. The news has prompted health officials to say that urgent action is promised.
The National Health Service (NHS) were quoted in the Telgraph article as saying, "...it was completely unacceptable that vulnerable people were being left on the drugs for years, without proper checks to see if the medication was suitable."
The Telegraph also report that...
In recent years there has been concern about the use of antipsychotic drugs for patients with dementia, with research showing the medication can increase the risks of stroke and death.
The new research led by Public Health England (PHE) estimates that up to 35,000 adults with a learning disability or autism are being prescribed an anti-psychotic, an anti-depressant or both without appropriate clinical justification
Some children were also being put on unsuitable drugs, the audit of GPs’ prescribing found.
The review established that 58 per cent of adults receiving anti-psychotics and 32 per cent of those receiving anti-depressants had no relevant diagnosis recorded.
Hello, earth calling the MHRA.
The MHRA, if you didn't know, are the British medicine regulator who, through my own experience of them, shirk any responsibility whatsoever when it comes to looking after the British public where psychiatric medicine is concerned. One only has to look at their reluctance to speak out about the dangers of SSRi medications, opting instead to give SSRi's a clean bill of health after forming apparent "expert" advisory committees.
So, do we blame the medicine regulator or do we blame the doctors prescribing these meds to the elderly, young and disabled?
That's the age-old question and one that repeatedly gets batted around from pillar to post with nobody really knowing what the answer is.
I'll spell it out for you.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regulates medicines and medical devices in the UK. They proudly boast that they are "recognised globally as an authority in its field" and that they "play a leading role in protecting and improving public health."
Earlier this week the MHRA promoted, through various social networking websites, the launch of the new app for Yellow Card reporting. It's a good move but I don't really think they have thought things through, particularly with news that over 30,000 people have been wrongly prescribed mind-altering drugs.
The new Yellow card app, claim the MHRA, is an "app that allows patients, carers and healthcare professionals to report side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme to help MHRA ensure they are acceptably safe for patients."
The app will also enable users to...
- create a ‘watch list’ of medications to receive official news and alerts on
- view numbers of Yellow Cards received by MHRA for medicines of interest
- see immediate response that shows Yellow Card has been accepted
- submit updates to Yellow Cards already submitted
- view previous Yellow Cards submitted through the app