For healthcare professionals only

Letters Polypharmacy

Add clinical indications to prescription instructions to avoid problems of polypharmacy

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 23 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7496
  1. Nigel J Masters, retired general medical practitioner1
  1. 1Highfield Surgery, Hazlemere, High Wycombe HP9 1TR, UK
  1. nigel.masters{at}

In her article on polypharmacy Wise commented that the reasons for prescribing a particular drug may be long forgotten by the patient, and sometimes even by the original clinician.1

A simple solution to this problem is to add the clinical indication to the prescription instructions at the time of issue.2 This approach is already used by some GPs and is recommended in the General Medical Council’s latest guidelines on prescribing.3

Further development of the clinical indications concept, where a GP coordinator would oversee the continuing care of people over 75, would be of real benefit and will be part of next year’s general practice contract.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7496


  • Competing interests: None declared.


View Abstract

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription