17 Oct GPs – talk about hands tied behind your back.
As a Registered Osteopath, I am often in the situation of speaking to patient’s GPs regarding medication for their acute lower back pain. Sometimes it a very positive experience, I feel part of a “united health” team helping the patient every which way. Other times I feel like we couldn’t be less united!
We seem to be coming across more and more GPs offering “Ah, we don’t like to prescribe that drug A anymore. There has been research linking it to cardiac issues. We prefer drug B”. That would be fine if drug B was as effective as drug A, but in many cases it simply isn’t. When you actually assess this “research”, it transpires that sure enough, drug A is mildly implicated in heart disease but the research actually involved patients taking the drug maximum dosage for a three year period!
GPs cannot be unaware of a typical patient concern, “Went to my GP and all he did was give me some pills”. How is this scenario going to improve if the drugs prescribed are actually less effective anyway? There are computerised procedures in place to stop infinite prescription repeats. Surely GPs should be encouraged to prescribe effective medication (that will actually make a difference) on a short term basis, rather than taking the safe, more ineffective option.