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
In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins
12.11.2018 | Technische Universität Berlin
How to produce fluorescent nanoparticles for medical applications in a nuclear reactor
09.11.2018 | Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague)
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.
Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
12.11.2018 | Life Sciences
12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy