About two-thirds of general (family) practice prescriptions are for repeat medication (half issued by the doctor at a consultation and half via the receptionist without patient contact with the doctor): 95% of patients' requests are acceded to without further discussion; 25% of patients who receive repeat prescriptions have had 40 or more repeats; 55% of patients aged over 75 years are on repeat medication (with periodic review).
Many patients taking the same drug for years are doing so for the best reason, i.e. firm diagnosis for which effective therapy is available, such as epilepsy, diabetes, hypertension, but some are not.
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