BMA call for evidence

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BMA call for evidence

Postby mark » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:16 pm

Dear Sirs,

Involuntary dependence to prescription medications call for evidence

I am writing in relation to a project the British Medical Associations (BMA) Board of Science is undertaking on the prevention, identification and management of involuntary dependence to
prescription medications.

Prescribing is a major clinical activity for doctors, and is a key therapeutic tool for influencing the health of patients. When these medications are inappropriately prescribed there is potential for patients to become dependent, which can lead to a range of health and social harms. Despite this, little is known about prescribing patterns, the levels of involuntary dependence, and the levels harm that is being caused. There is also a wide spectrum of differing views on this subject which is limiting constructive dialogue on how best to address this problem.

Through this project the Board is aiming to work collaboratively with stakeholders to support the development of an improved policy framework for the prevention, identification and management of involuntary dependence to prescription medications. To support this work, the Board is undertaking a call for evidence to collate information on:

- prescribing patterns for medications that have the potential for dependence
- the scale and harms associated with involuntary dependence
- the treatment, management and withdrawal of patients affected by involuntary dependence
- ways to promote best prescribing practice.

The Board will publish an analysis of the call for evidence, and plans to use this as the basis for
engaging with Ministers and other key policy makers to contribute to the development of an improved policy framework.

Further details for the project and the call for evidence are enclosed.

We would welcome a contribution from your organisation on this important matter.

Yours sincerely

Professor Sheila the Baroness Hollins
Chair, BMA Board of Science


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