Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1979 July; 29(204): 406–412.
PMCID: PMC2159232

The changing pattern of general practitioner drug prescribing in the National Health Service in England from 1970 to 1975


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.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Baker KL, Storey E. Tetracycline-induced tooth changes. 3. Incidence in extracted first permanent molar teeth. Med J Aust. 1970 Jan 17;1(3):109–113. [PubMed]
  • Bishop RF, Davidson GP, Holmes IH, Ruck BJ. Virus particles in epithelial cells of duodenal mucosa from children with acute non-bacterial gastroenteritis. Lancet. 1973 Dec 8;2(7841):1281–1283. [PubMed]
  • Crombie DL, Pinsent RJ, Lambert PM, Birch D. Comparison of the first and second national morbidity surveys. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1975 Dec;25(161):874–878. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gross RJ, Scotland SM, Rowe B. Enterotoxin testing of Escherichia coli causing epidemic infantile enteritis in the U.K. Lancet. 1976 Mar 20;1(7960):629–631. [PubMed]
  • Hemminki E. Review of literature on the factors affecting drug prescribing. Soc Sci Med. 1975 Feb;9(2):111–116. [PubMed]
  • Mapes RE. Physicians' drug innovation and relinquishment. Soc Sci Med. 1977 Sep;11(11-13):619–624. [PubMed]
  • Proudfoot AT, Wright N. Acute paracetamol poisoning. Br Med J. 1970 Sep 5;3(5722):557–558. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rowland MG, Stevenson CJ. Exfoliative dermatitis and practolol. Lancet. 1972 May 20;1(7760):1130–1130. [PubMed]
  • Williams WO. H.K. influenza 1969-70. A practice study. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1971 Jun;21(107):325–335. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners