Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

UK still prescribing old medicines

Despite making savings by curbing the use of branded drugs, the UK health sector is still using old medicines for cancer and other illnesses, rather than more advanced treatments. The research, which was published by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), shows that the UK uses branded medicines less per person than many other countries but tends to use older rather than the latest medicines. Despite showing an increase in usage per person for 11 of the 16 therapy classes surveyed from 2008/09, the report shows that the UK remains 9th out of 13 countries with France maintaining its position at the top of the rankings and New Zealand still 13th. In seven of these 11 classes the UK usage per person was below the international average for 2012/13 – this included the latest cancer medicines less than five years old and those for dementia, multiple sclerosis and stroke prevention.

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Doctors’ allergy mistakes ‘risking lives’

Thousands of lives are put at risk by doctors prescribing drugs to which patients are known to be allergic, the medicines watchdog says.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said there were “major issues” in the way allergies were recorded and shared.
In its first guidelines on allergy, it is calling for known allergies to be recorded on all prescriptions.
The charity Allergy UK said a “lack of awareness” was putting lives at risk.
Official data recorded 18,079 incidents of drug allergies affecting patient safety in the NHS in England and Wales between 2005 and 2013.
Most involved medicines which were prescribed to a patient with a known allergy to that class of drugs.

Have you been prescribed drugs to which you were allergic? Has treatment of a condition been hindered by such an allergy? You can email your experiences to

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