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Overmedication of society: a concern for all

The independent medical journal Prescrire has published a special section in the August issue of its French edition, examining the role that medicines play in society, in healthcare, and in our lives.

The non-profit journal held the 2017 edition of its "Rencontres Prescrire" ("Prescrire Encounters") at the Faculty of Medicine in Toulouse, France, on the theme of the overmedication of society. The posters presented at the event, along with certain videos, are available online  
> View the posters and videos (in French)

Prescrire is following up on the event with a special 46-page section in the August issue of its French edition.

Medicines are part of daily life, often beginning before birth, and carrying on throughout our lifetimes. Medicines affect everyone: healthcare professionals, patients, parents, etc.

Given how present medicines are, the way they are used must constantly be questioned and considered. What beliefs and representations do we attach to medicines? What are the many influences that may bias our choices? How can we use medicines responsibly, i.e. without taking excessive or poorly considered risks, and use them only in situations where they appear to be useful?

There are various angles of approach to promote better choices: thinking of medicines as just one tool among many; thinking about what a prescription represents; not always prescribing something; daring to “deprescribe”; being aware of the irrational factors which influence the way we see medicines; knowing what to say when faced with a prescription or a "self-prescription" which is more dangerous than beneficial; developing a critical attitude towards things that are "new", etc.

Society urges us towards ever greater performance in all areas, and leaves less and less room for acceptance of emotions and of the ups and downs of life. It is essential to maintain a critical attitude towards the cult of performance, towards societal pressures and the uniformisation of society, and to resist the use of medicines in this context.

These themes and many others are covered in the special section in the French edition.

> Table of contents of the August issue (in French)

©Prescrire 1 August 2017

"Médicamentation de la société : l'affaire de tous - Tous acteurs, tous prescripteurs" Rev Prescrire 2017 ; 37 (406) : 593-638. (Pdf in French, subscription to French edition required)

For more information:
Médicamentation de la société :
l'affaire de tous. Tous acteurs,
tous prescripteurs
Rev Prescrire 2017 ;
37 (406) : 593-638.
Pdf in French, subscription
to French edition required

Médicamentation de la société
Special section in the August
issue of La revue Prescrire
Table of contents of the
August issue (in French)

Posters and Vidéos presented
at the  2017 Prescrire Encounters
(June 2017)
Free (in French)