Be as wary of overtreating as undertreating with asthma
The extraordinary arrogance of the GMC in charging colleagues of Harold Shipman with serious professional misconduct because they signed some cremation forms raises far more serious concerns about the conduct of the council itself.
I have been concerned for many years about the dangerous practice of prescribing amphetamine and its analogues to overweight people. Most of this occurs in commercial slimming clinics.
All these prescriptions must have been signed by a doctor. In a number of cases where patients have subsequently consulted me it has emerged that either no inquiries as to their past history or current drug regime have been made, they have been discouraged from telling their GP about the attendance at the clinic and in one case a dangerous drug interaction occurred in a depressed hypertensive woman on treatment with monoamine oxidase antidepressants.
In any event the prescription of drugs of addiction to vulnerable patients, many of whom may have mental health problems, is hard to justify.
I have informed the GMC of each of these events and in all cases the council has declined to investigate the conduct of the doctors or the clinics.
It seems 'protecting patients' is applied very selectively and the decisions of the GMC may have more to do with its view of the effect on its public image than any true concern for the welfare of patients.
Dr Michael Blackmore