Drug safety and improving primary care prescribing safety

Prescription drugs are high-benefit but also high-risk for patients. However, the harms of treatment are often poorly quantified by the randomised controlled trials that define benefit and these trials often exclude the majority of real-world patients with target conditions because of higher risk of harm. This creates the need for observational research to quantify the risks of drugs in real-world populations (pharmaco-epidemiology). Even for drugs where the risks are well-known, we have shown that high-risk prescribing is common.

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