Antipsychotics causing 1,800 deaths a year

Around 1,800 people in the UK with dementia are dying each year as a result of being prescribed antipsychotics, a report commissioned by the DoH has concluded.

The report calls for an audit of antipsychotic prescribing and for PCTs to reduce the use of these agents by two thirds within three years. Audits of prescribing should be repeated annually for the next three years to gauge progress, the report said.

Care services minister Phil Hope, who commissioned the report, said that the government has accepted all the recommendations. These include the need for PCTs in England to commission specialist services to support primary care workers, as well as improved training for GPs and other healthcare professionals.

It is estimated that 180,000 people with dementia are being given antipsychotic medication. But only around a quarter of these people (36,000) would derive any benefit from treatment, the report concluded.

In addition, treatment with antipsychotics leads to 1,800 additional deaths and 1,620 additional cerebrovascular adverse events, the report said. Around three-quarters of these deaths and events would be expected occur in patients prescribed the medicines inappropriately.

The report was produced by Professor Sube Banerjee, professor of mental health and ageing at King's College London.

Today's headlines

Swine flu cases fall but deaths increase
NHS funding cuts mean Labour health policy 'not fit'
PCTs fail to transfer care into community
PCT rejects staff ballot on social enterprise transfer

 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Professor Dame Clare Gerada elected RCGP president

Professor Dame Clare Gerada elected RCGP president

London GP Professor Dame Clare Gerada will become the new president of the RCGP,...

GPs lead COVID-19 vaccine drive as jabs stall in younger adults

GPs lead COVID-19 vaccine drive as jabs stall in younger adults

GPs have urged young people to come forward for COVID-19 vaccination with jab uptake...

GPs leading PCNs report heavy workload and limited impact from ARRS

GPs leading PCNs report heavy workload and limited impact from ARRS

PCN clinical directors are facing burnout and struggling to develop their networks...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

RCGP online exhibition celebrates women in general practice

RCGP online exhibition celebrates women in general practice

An online exhibition celebrating women’s contribution to general practice over the...

MPs back campaign against reforms that 'threaten fairness of fitness to practise cases'

MPs back campaign against reforms that 'threaten fairness of fitness to practise cases'

Plans to scrap the 'five-year rule' and categorise doctors with health concerns as...