Patients Should Push GPs to Prescribe Drugs they Need

The Chairman of NICE Professor David Haslam, has urged patients to adopt a pushier attitude to get doctors to prescribe the drugs they need. He said that people should see themselves as equal partners with their doctors and that patients had a “legal right” to medicines once they had been endorsed.

Professor Haslam said that patients should be more proactive about their health. He said that, “the more you understand about the drugs you are taking, or what you might be able to have, the better you are able to work with your doctor.”

Last week the NHS faced criticism over figures which suggested that certain drugs were not being used despite being approved by NICE. Professor Haslam said that, “when products have been approved for use by the NHS by NICE, patients have a legal right to those drugs – as long as they are clinically appropriate. The take-up should be much higher than it currently is.” He added, “patients have a right under the NHS constitution to these therapies, so I really hope we can improve this.”

In order to get the best healthcare, patients should understand more about the medicines available to them. He said, “The fundamental point is, it’s your body and the more you understand about the drugs you are taking, or what you might be able to have, the better you are able to work with your doctor.”

Professor Haslam, who is a former GP said, “it is essential for the future of the health service and for the future health of the nation that patients understand their conditions, their treatments and work with their health advisors so they can have the best care.”

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