Apollo logo

Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People

The Polypharmacy Challenge Blog

Book Review: Too Many Pills by James Le Fanu

“In just fifteen years the number of prescriptions issued by family doctors in Britain has increased three-fold. Everyone agrees this is too many…”

This is the opening sentence of James Le Fanu’s thought-provoking book: Too Many Pills - How Too Much Medicine is Endangering Our Health and What We Can Do About It. It begs the question that if everyone agrees, then how has this come about? And what is sustaining this situation? These are questions that are of interest to us in the APOLLO-MM project so I was keen to learn what Le Fanu has to say on the matter.


Polypharmacy perspectives: the challenge for general practice

This is the third post in our series hearing from different perspectives on the polypharmacy challenge. Here, Julian Treadwell questions whether the prominence of evidence based medicine in primary care has inadvertently pushed out the needs of the individual doctor and patient.

Polypharmacy is a deeply complex area of my everyday practice as a GP. My personal experience as a GP says something about how we have got to where we are now.

I graduated in the mid-1990s when Evidence Based Medicine was in its ascendancy. A core part of GP training was ‘critical reading’ and the understanding of how research evidence should inform the decisions we make with individuals. Even back then I remember having a conversation with my trainer about an imaginary future where “almost everybody would be taking a statin". And another where we wondered if a number needed to treat (NNT) of 30 for drugs to prevent osteoporotic fractures was in fact ‘good’ medicine. Read more...

Show more posts

Subscribe to receive our latest blog post

* indicates required
Queen Mary University of London logo
NIHR stamps without NHS logo
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London logo