One in 10 patients on repeat prescriptions consistently run out of medicine and go to A&E for an emergency prescription as a result, according to research.
A study of 2,000 people, including more than 800 on repeat prescriptions, by the medicines management app Echo found that two in five people run out of medication before being able to get more and one in five experience a recurrence of their symptoms and book an appointment with their GP.
Twenty per cent turn to a pharmacy to get an alternative medicine while 9% go into withdrawal and have to go to A&E.
The highest number of people going into withdrawal and visiting A&E because they don’t have enough medicine is in Greater London, followed by the West Midlands.
The South West is where people are least likely to experience withdrawals.
“Managing repeat prescriptions can be a stressful experience, especially when you take more than one medicine, or manage medicines for others. Coupled with the pace of modern life, it can be easy to not keep on top of it,” said Alistair Murray, clinical director at Echo.
“For many, this can mean turning up at A&E or having to book an emergency doctor’s appointment so you don’t miss an all-important pill and potentially go into withdrawal.
“The NHS is becoming increasingly stretched, so patients turning up in A&E when they could have sourced the medication elsewhere beforehand is only adding to the strain and creating unnecessary appointments.”
(Picture: mattjeacock - iStock)