The level of prescribing of benzodiazepines in this country reflects the deficiency or absence of other services, in particular counselling, the Chair of the IMO GP Committee has stated.
Limerick GP Dr Mary Gray said: “There is an awareness of the issue of benzodiazepine prescribing, but not an equal awareness of the reason why there is this apparent level of prescribing.” Dr Gray was speaking the day after last week’s RTÉ Prime Time programme, which highlighted the high usage of the drug – some 10 per cent of medical cards holders – and the potentially tragic impact that can result from over-prescribing and abuse.Also speaking at a media briefing to highlight the union’s forthcoming AGM, IMO President Dr Ronan Boland indicated that while the HSE was collecting data on GPs’ prescribing patterns of benzodiazepines, this information was “quite crude”, in that it did not correct for the particular GP’s practice profile.
“It doesn’t correct for the fact that some doctors have young, healthy populations, while other doctors work in deprived urban areas. So it produces data which is of limited value,” he said....
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