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A study of the extent of hospital inpatient prescribing of benzodiazepines and their continuation at discharge was carried out on all patients admitted to St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, during a 7-day period. A large majority (73.6%) were not prescribed benzodiazepines at any time. No discharge prescriptions for these drugs were initiated in hospital. The data do not suggest that hospital prescribing of benzodiazepines is contributing to community prescribing.