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Arthritis patients need frequent prescription reviews

19th August 2005

Many people suffering from arthritis have not discussed their medication with their GPs despite safety concerns over painkilling drugs, according to Arthritis Care.

The Arthritis Care survey of more than 1,000 people with osteoarthritis also found only 40 per cent were happy with their current medication.

Safety fears were raised about painkillers for the condition last year, when the drug Vioxx was taken off shelves due to a link with an increased risk of heart conditions.

According to the Scotsman around 8.5 million people in the UK suffer with osteoarthritis, and around 2.5 million take drugs to relieve the symptoms.

The survey also called on doctors to set a target to complete medication reviews for people with the condition within six months.

Of the four in ten patients who have seen their GP about their prescription recently, 40 per cent have been switched to a different drug.

It is vital for painkilling treatments to be effective to review a patients' case on a regular basis.