BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Science
CASE NOTES
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
PROGRAMME INFO
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.
Contact Case Notes
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 9 May
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 9 May 2006
A pharmacist measures pills into a bottle

Full programme transcript >>

Prescriptions

About 1.3 million paper prescriptions are issued every working day in England, and over two thirds of these are for repeat medicines.

In this episode of Case Notes Dr Mark Porter looks at all aspects of prescribing drugs, from the politics of compliance and prescription charges, to solutions to the age-old problem of reading doctors' bad handwriting.

Mark visits the Bristol Royal Infirmary to find out how a new high-tech robot will help the hospital deal with prescriptions more accurately and safely. The robot can also dispense drugs more quickly than humans, leaving pharmacists free to focus on the patients.

Mark also discovers the history of prescriptions, and deciphers the Latin abbreviations that are still written on them today. Briony Hudson of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's museum has produced an information sheet which helps historians to unravel the mystery that doctors and pharmacists deliberately cloaked prescriptions in.

Nowadays, even though the language used on prescriptions is clearer, a doctor's poor handwriting can sometimes mean that the wrong drug, or the wrong dose is dispensed. Mistakes are less common now that many GP's practices use printed prescriptions - as long as the doctor presses the right buttons in the first place!

However, getting the correct medicine to the patient is sometimes only half the battle. The issue of non-compliance, where a patient doesn't follow their prescription properly, is a big concern for many doctors. According to recent reports, 15% of prescriptions are not taken to the pharmacist and another 25% of patients do not take their drugs well enough to get any medical benefit. Mark asks why.

From 2007 prescriptions will be free to everyone in Wales - Mark finds out why the Welsh Assembly took the decision, and asks if the English, Scottish or Northern Irish authorities will ever follow suit.
Listen Live
Audio Help
DON'T MISS
Leading Edge
PREVIOUS PROGRAMMES
Emergency Services
Ovary
Heart Attacks
Appendix
Insects
Cot Death
Antibiotics and Probiotics
Taste
Abortion
HPV 
Hair
Poisons
Urology
Aneurysms
Bariatric Surgery
Gardening
Pain
Backs - Slipped Discs
Prostate Cancer
Sun and Skin
Knees
Screening
Rheumatology
Bowel Cancer
Herpes
Thyroid
Fainting
Liver
Cystic Fibrosis
Superbugs
Side Effects
Metabolic Syndrome
Transplants
Down's Syndrome
The Voice
M.E./CFS
Meningitis
Childhood Burns
Statins
Alzheimer's
Headaches
Feet
Sexual Problems
IBS
Me and My Op
Lung Cancer and Smoking
Cervical Cancer
Hips
Caesarean Sections
The Nose
Multiple Sclerosis
Radiology
Palliative Care
Eyes
Shoulders
Leukaemia
Blood Pressure
Contraception
Parkinson's Disease
Head Injuries
Tropical Health
Ears
Arts and Health 
Allergies
Nausea
Menopause and Osteoporosis
Immunisation
Intensive Care (ICU)
Manic Depression
The Bowel
Arthritis
Itching
Fractures
The Jaw
Keyhole Surgery
Prescriptions
Epilepsy
Hernias
Asthma
Hands
Out of Hours
Kidneys
Body Temperature
Stroke
Face Transplants
Backs
Heart Failure
The Royal Marsden Hospital
Vitamins
Cosmetic Surgery
Tired All The Time (TATT)
Obesity
Anaesthesia
Coronary Artery Surgery
Choice in the NHS
Back to School
Homeopathy
Hearing and Balance
First Aid
Dentists
Alder Hey Hospital - Children's Health
Thrombosis
Arrhythmias
Pregnancy
Moorfields Eye Hospital
Wound Healing
Joint Replacements
Premature Babies
Prison Medicine
Light
Respiratory Medicine
Indigestion
Urinary Incontinence
The Waiting Game
Diabetes
Contraception
Depression
Auto-immune Diseases
Prescribing Drugs
Get Fit and Get Well Food
Autism
Vaccinations
Oral Health
Blood
Heart Attacks
Genetic Screening
Fertility
A+E & Triage
Antibiotics
Screening Tests
Sexual Health
Baldness


Back to Latest Programme
Health & Wellbeing Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy