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We describe the changing pattern of general practitioner prescribing in the National Health Service in England between 1970 and 1975.
The percentage increase in items of prescriptions had increased 10 times as much as the percentage increase in the population in the same period. One of the reasons given is that there may be a growing tendency to give a prescription when it would be better to give advice.
The evidence seems to support other findings that the profession responds much more widely to reports on the good effects of a drug than it does to its adverse effects.