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  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a tablets imageJuly 24 2018

A review of prescribed medicines looking at the evidence of dependence and withdrawal issues has had the scope and terms of reference set out. 

The review was commissioned in January, and Public Health England says the report is due to be published the spring of 2019. It will bring together the best available evidence on:

  • prevalence and prescribing patterns;
  • the nature and likely causes of dependence and the short-term discontinuation or longer term withdrawal symptoms associated with prescribed medicines among some people who take these medicines;
  • effective prevention and treatment of dependence, withdrawal and discontinuation syndrome for each drug category.

Included within the scope of the review are:

  • adults (age 18 and over);
  • dependence, withdrawal and discontinuation syndrome;
  • benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, GABA-ergic medicines, opioid pain medications, antidepressants;
  • community prescribing.

The review is looking at prescribed medicines but will not cover cancer and terminal pain. Nor will it consider over-the-counter medicines, prescribing in hospitals and prisons, or other medicines, such as anti-psychotics, stimulants, ‘smart drugs’, anti-obesity drugs.

While the membership of the review body has a number of representatives of doctors’ organisations and public health, none of the members has been appointed to represent a pharmacy body.

Links:
PHE Prescribed medicines review: scope announcement            
PHE Prescribed medicines review: expert group terms of reference announcement

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