Beyond Pills campaign calls for “represcribing” and social prescribing efforts


The Beyond Pills campaign is an initiative started by a group of doctors to address issues of overprescribing in the UK after the National Overprescribing Review of September 2021 made recommendations to review current prescription practices.

The Beyond Pills campaign hopes to reduce drug prescription, enhance initiatives for use of social prescribing link workers, save money, reduce pill burden and adverse effects caused by co-prescribing or over-prescribing, and address issues that may stem from health inequalities from the core.

“Beyond Pills campaign calls for “represcribing” and social prescribing efforts to tackle issue of overprescribing in the UK.“

Social prescribing has become increasingly popular in recent years, bringing specialist link workers into general practices to assess an individual’s situation, discuss ways in which community services such as classes, interest groups, and hobbies may improve their wellbeing and contribute to overall better health in a sustainable and empowering way. This encourages patient-led solutions, meaning they have ownership over their health decisions on a greater scale, and can be guided in holistic solutions to their individual health concerns.

“Medicine, as we know it, is no longer affordable or sustainable. Nor is it able to curb the increase in obesity, mental health problems and most long-term diseases... An adjustment to the system now will provide a long-term, sustainable solution for the NHS to meet the ever-increasing demand for funding and healthcare professionals.” - Dr Michael Dixon, College of Medicine Chair

With the rise of long-term health conditions relating to a larger ageing population, as well as an overwhelmed mental health service, obesity, chronic pain, and substance use disorders, all of which are managed with a multi-disciplinary approach and require a person-centred plan. 1 in 5 hospital admissions in people over 65 was reported to be due to an adverse drug reaction, and this, in turn, exposes individuals to the risks associated with hospital admissions, such as infection, blood clots, and deconditioning, which otherwise could have been avoided in those where their medication may be unnecessary or has room for optimisation.

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