The BMJ’s new “practical prescribing” series aims to improve decision making
Prescribing is one of the most fundamental parts of medicine and one of the most common interventions in health care. In the UK, the British National Formulary lists more than 1600 drugs. The number of prescriptions dispensed in the community in England grew by 66% from 686 million prescriptions in 2004 to 1.14 billion prescriptions in 2021-22.34 Polypharmacy has also increased, with around 15% of people in England taking five or more medicines a day and 7% taking eight or more medicines a day.
The BMJ in conjunction with the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin has commissioned a series of articles on practical prescribing. These articles will highlight important issues for prescribers to consider and prompts for shared decision making between prescribers, patients, and their carers. The series—targeted at all medical and non-medical prescribers, particularly doctors in training—will cover medicines commonly prescribed in primary and secondary care. The format is designed to help readers recall their understanding of a medication through a series of questions, exploring up-to-date evidence, and reviewing accessible information not readily found in prescribing texts.