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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 17 August
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 17 August 2004
Drugs

Full programme transcript >>

Prescribing Drugs
 
The NHS hands out 750 million prescriptions per year.  That's roughly a prescription per month for every person in the country. 

Prescribing costs
GP prescribing costs have doubled in the last 10 years and doctors are under increasing pressure to cut back on the number of drugs they prescribe, and to use the cheapest option wherever possible. But is this affecting patient care? Are patients being palmed off with second-rate treatments, or is it simply a case of the NHS getting one over on the pharmaceutical industry by getting the same for less?

NHS
Mark follows the trail of an NHS prescription through the system and finds out that as many as 1 in 5 prescriptions are never redeemed, and around half of those that are, are not taken properly. Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of medicines are being wasted so what is the NHS doing about it? 

Can patients help?
The Government may be taking steps to cut the drugs bill but what can the general public do to help themselves? Most doctors and pharmacists think the current rules governing prescription charges are unfair and need urgent reform. Mark discovers why and asks what patients can do themselves to minimise the cost of treating long-term conditions like asthma, high blood pressure and arthritis. 

Join Dr Mark Porter Case Notes  on Prescribing Drugs on Tuesday 17th August 2004. 

Next week
Next week's topic is: Autoimmune diseases - Lupus, Ankylosing Spondylitis and new drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis. 


Department of Health - Prescription Payment Certificate
Information about Prescription Prepayment Certificate and telephone purchase is available by calling 0845 850 0030. There is more information on the Department of Health's website - see 'related links' and search for 'HC11'.
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