£500m… the shameful cost of pills patients should never have been given: As damning new research shows the NHS wastes a fortune on medication every year, a devastating investigation into a scandal wrecking so many lives

“… new research … reveals the terrible cost of the drug-dependency crisis not only on the individual, but also on NHS finances. Damning figures show that in England alone, nearly £570 million-worth of the drugs are given annually to patients who should not be on them in the first place.”

This article by Pat Hagan has been published in the Daily Mail. It begins:

“Emma Hames is angry and it’s easy to understand why. Rather than enjoying health and happiness at the age of 33, her life is blighted by extreme fatigue, jelly-legged weakness, headaches, insomnia, muscle pain and brain fog.

Her heart can race so fast it ‘feels like a washing machine on spin cycle’ and she often lacks the strength to even walk to the shops.

Emma, who lives in Cardiff, has been largely housebound for four years and had to give up her job as a primary school teacher.

And it’s all due to a prescription medication, commonly dispensed on the NHS, which was supposed to improve her wellbeing.

The drug is bromazepam, which belongs to a class of medicines called benzodiazepines. She was put on a daily dose in 2012 after a brief bout of anxiety and while it initially helped, within a few months it was clear that improvement had come at a high cost.

‘My anxiety eased but the drug made me feel exhausted and lethargic,’ says Emma.

But worse was to come when she tried to stop taking it — with insomnia, heart palpitations, aches and pains, poor concentration and constant trembling.

‘It felt like severe flu and the worst hangover you can imagine at the same time — all the time,’ she says. ‘It was sheer torture’ …”

You can read more from here.

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