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GP's surgery at heart of flood rescue effort

Drug company pressure on the health service is leading to mass over-medication and putting the NHS at risk of

'financial collapse', the RCGP claims in evidence to MPs.

In its submission to the health select committee's inquiry into pharmaceutical industry influence, the college said firms were 'disease mongering' and overuse of drugs was a 'serious and growing' problem.

The GPC said it supported the RCGP's position, but the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry rejected it as 'rubbish'.

The college claimed normal variation was arbitrarily classified as disease and firms were more interested in selling preventive drugs to the healthy than in treating the sick.

Submission author Dr Maureen Baker, the RCGP's honorary secretary, said: 'If current trends continue, publicly-funded health care systems will be at risk of financial collapse with huge costs to society as a whole.' She added greater controls were needed on drug information and

direct-to-patient advertising.

But the ABPI said doctors were getting better at recognising and treating disease.

The first session of the committee's inquiry will take place on September 9.

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