Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Undispensed prescriptions in a mining general practice.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 01 May 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:1062

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. W H Waters,
  2. N V Gould,
  3. J E Lunn


    Seven per cent of prescription forms issued in a mining practice were not presented at chemists for dispensing. The people least likely to present their prescription forms were men aged 25-34 years, particularly miners. To get sickness benefit these men have to consult a doctor, but the medical content of the consultation in these circumstances is often perceived by them as irrelevant and the medication rejected. Children and old people nearly always presented their prescriptions. The percentage of undispensed prescription forms for the trainee doctor was higher than for the trainer, but age may have been a factor: older patients tended to consult the established doctor, whom they knew. Drugs affecting the cardiovascular system, moderate or strong analgesics, hypnotics, sedatives, tranquillisers, and antidepressants were rarely rejected, but mild analgesics and drugs prescribed for symptomatic relief, such as those affecting the alimentary system, cough mixtures, and skin preparations, were more often rejected.