Addiction is fast becoming a health issue in the UK, particularly to Opiate pain killers and sleep-inducing medication. The over use of prescription medication is increasing dramatically and there are no visibility or control mechanisms in place to prevent patients being prescribed from multiple sources, specifically in the private sector.
This is supported by the recent report in the USA, “Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis”.
The UK government has announced a review into prescription drug addiction and will report back early next year. Public Health Minister Steven Brine (March 2018) said: “We cannot be complacent. This is a huge problem in the US and we must be absolutely sure it doesn’t become one here.” However, many experts worry it already is.
A GMC spokesperson said: ‘Digital health services are expanding rapidly and, while they may present a convenient option for some patients, like any new technology, there are shortfalls that must be addressed.’ They added that they are working alongside the ‘MHRA, GPhC and CQC to map the regulatory landscape and address these issues’ (Pulse, March 2018).