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GP's demand on food supplement scripts

Dr Martin Clark is worried about the spiralling costs of prescribing nutritional supplements and wants the Government to clarify which patients need them.

Dr Clark, a GP in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, said nutritional supplements were among the top five most costly drugs prescribed over the last year in his area and GPs were finding it hard to resist pressure from other health professionals to prescribe them. He was also concerned many patients were not fulfilling the criteria.

He said: 'When I first came to general practice we hardly used them. Now everyone is asking for them and I don't think we are fulfilling the criteria. There are patients who are perfectly able to eat their pork chops and chips but are still on these supplements.'

Latest figures from the Department of Health showed prescribing nutritional supplements cost the NHS about £135 million last year.

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