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‘Drugs to avoid’: can we improve prescribing appropriateness?
  1. Barbara Mintzes12,
  2. Agnes Vitry3
  1. 1 Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3 Clinical and Health Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Barbara Mintzes, Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; barbara.mintzes{at}sydney.edu.au

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Many initiatives to guide prescribing focus only on ‘drugs to use’ and not those to avoid. These include treatment guidelines, formularies, and national and regional lists of reimbursed drugs. The aim is to guide clinicians towards the most effective treatments and the most cost-effective of equivalent alternatives. However, this guidance can be incomplete, distorted by commercial interests1 and does not always adequately address harmful outcomes of medicines use. Criteria targeting inappropriate use also often focus on single drug classes such as opioids or specific demographics such as older patients for the Beers and STOPP/START criteria.

The French independent drug bulletin Prescrire has developed a unique initiative aiming to improve prescribing appropriateness: an annual list of ‘drugs to avoid’ across all treatment indications and patient populations. These lists are based on Prescrire’s evaluations …

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None declared. Refer to the online supplementary files to view the ICMJE form(s).

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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