Professor Jim Smith, now Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Policy at the University of Sunderland, will also highlight several other controversial issues that surround the pharmaceutical sector and its practice.
Prof Smith was appointed England’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer in 2001 and was in charge of implementing the Government's "Vision for Pharmacy" programme.
In his inaugural lecture at the university on Thursday, Prof Smith will explain why millions are being wasted on prescribed drugs that people are not using.
He will argue that of the £11bn spent each year on prescription drugs a substantial proportion of that is wasted through non-compliance, often impairing the health of those people for who the drugs are meant.
Prof Smith says: “There is good evidence that people accumulate large quantities of drugs but don’t use them, wasting money that the NHS can ill afford.
“There is also evidence that non-compliance it is linked to socio economic status – which has connotations for places like Sunderland – widening the health gap.
“Every Primary Care Trust is struggling with the costs of providing health care. However, so many of these medicines are not being taken, which is leading to further health problems
“There is evidence for example that some heart attack victims, who may be prescribed up to four drugs, do not take them properly and puts them at greater risk of a second heart attack.
“It’s a major problem. Fifteen per cent of NHS spending is on prescribed drugs.
“Many people, ultimately almost all of us, rely on medicines for their wellbeing. They can be life-enhancing and, for many people, lifesaving.
“Modern medicines are the product of an unprecedented scientific, clinical and industrial enterprise in which Britain is a world leader. They are contributing significantly to the increases in life expectancy and quality of life now being seen in this country. But our attitudes to medicines are ambivalent.
“We distrust the corporations that have, so successfully, developed new medicines. Governments laud the economic success of the industry but are sometimes reluctant to meet the cost of new drugs.
“The public, influenced at times by the news media, call for government bans in response to ‘drug scares’ but, paradoxically, also press for new drugs to be introduced across the NHS before clinical and economic evaluations are complete.”
Prof Smith’s lecture will explore these issues and argue for a mature and informed approach to the medicines we take.
He has worked as a community, industrial and hospital pharmacist and has held senior posts in health authorities in the North of England and in Central Government.
He has held consultancies with a number of pharmaceutical companies and with the World Health Organisation. In 2006 he was admitted as a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom.
Tony Kerr | alfa
One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy