Doctors to be disciplined if they over-prescribe addictive drugs
The Medical Council has warned it will take disciplinary action against doctors who over-prescribe tranquillisers, sleeping tablets and pregabalin, an anti-seizure drug.
President of the Medical Council Dr Rita Doyle said: "The impact of inappropriate prescribing of benzodiazepines, z-drugs, pregabalin and other controlled drugs is having a significant impact on patient safety and well-being.
"While benzodiazepines may have a role in the treatment of a patient on a time-limited basis, caution and strict monitoring are required when they are prescribed. Patients who become dependent upon benzodiazepines should be referred to the appropriate drug treatment services and provided with appropriate supports."
Doctors who fail to refer patients for support or reduce their high-prescribing levels may require formal investigation.