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China widens probes into drug industry

For about 20 million British people, about 43 percent of all patients, doctors seem to speak another language: the prescriptions are too complicated, with scientific terms never heard before. This is demonstrated by a research carried out by the London South Bank University in collaboration with some public health experts.

In many cases it is too embarrassing to ask for further information on the dosage of a drug or on where to carry out an examination that has been prescribed and then it is preferable to postpone, with consequent serious health risks.

The problem also exists in Italy and is of great concern, as explained by Claudio Cricelli, president of the SIMG (Italian Society of General Medicine): it concerns chronically ill people such as diabetics and hypertensives, who, however, can be better monitored by attending doctors' offices more often on the progress of the therapy, but above all the "newbies", i.e. those patients who may be young with an acute pathology who can more easily get confused with the drugs and are more reluctant to ask the doctor for explanations, ending up neglecting themselves.

"It is necessary to commit to developing suitable communication tools - explains Cricelli - and as regards elderly chronic patients it is necessary to be able to make oneself understood well by the so-called 'care givers', i.e. family members or carers who provide assistance and materially give medicines ”. The challenge is no small one if it is true, as the president Simg reminds us, "that the 90% of caregivers is of foreign origin, here in many cases there may" be a sort of language barrier to overcome".

And the attention of Giuseppe Paolisso, president of the president of the Sigg (Societa' of geriatrics and gerontology).

“They often mix things up, choose do-it-yourself medicines or use expired medicines that they keep at home, with consequent side effects in 50-60 percent of cases – recalls President Sigg – for this reason a greater commitment on the part of the doctor would be needed to simplify, where possible, the sequentiality of taking medicines and on the part of pharmaceutical companies a greater interest in the creation of new packaging, more suitable in terms of quality and quantity”.

"If it were decided to set up a multi-focus table on the subject, which also involved Farmindustria, it would be welcome - explains Paolisso - we know that asking to renew the packaging would be a great effort in economic terms, but we must also remember that out of the total pharmaceutical industry the elderly, who represent 20 percent of the population, account for 65%”.

7 January 2013 – RAI Teletext


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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco