Supply and Demand for Medicines

The RSE has submitted a response to a consultation from the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee considering the Supply and Demand for Medicines in Scotland.

The response was produced drawing upon the expertise of a working group of RSE Fellows comprising a diverse range of backgrounds including general practice, clinical pharmacology, primary care and academia.

In the paper the Society stressed that the Committee’s consultation comes at a critical time for primary care in Scotland; one in which technological development is creating new opportunities, while growing challenges are presented from an ageing population and an increasing prevalence of multi-morbidity.

Furthermore, the health service faces immense pressure on resources and has seen a decrease in the number of GPs, which is coupled with increases over the last decade in both the quantity of medicines prescribed and the total cost of supplying these.

The RSE also highlighted a number of other issues, including the increasing prevalence of polypharmacy in Scotland (when patients are prescribed multiple medications taken concurrently) and the significant challenges linked to this; the need for a culture of “de-prescribing” to be properly developed across the healthcare professions; and, the importance the NHS taking a data-driven approach to ensuring that patients are being given the most appropriate drugs to suit their diagnosis.

The full response can be accessed here as well as being available on the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee website.