NHS prescriptions for 'seductive' opioid painkillers surges by 80 per cent in ten years

The majority were for chronic and prolonged ailments like back pain, but some say they are ineffective in as many as 90 per cent of cases.

Opioids, mainly fentanyl, oxycodone, tramadol, morphine sulfate, buprenorphine cost £263million a year, NHS Digital figures show, but there is controversy over their “seductive” effect.

The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan, 46, was feared to have died from a suspected opioid overdose in January and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, 58, forced herself to come off tramadol after a horse riding accident in 2012.

The drugs have also been linked to the deaths of musicians Prince and Tom Petty. 

Overall, 1.11 billion prescriptions were issued in England last year, a marginal increase on 2016, at a total cost of £9.17billion.

The most prescribed drugs were cholesterolbusting atorvastatin, given out 37 million times, and thyroid medicine levothyroxine sodium, issued 31 million times.

GPs wrote almost 20 million paracetamol prescriptions, costing £61.9million.

Royal College of GPs chairwoman Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said more prescriptions were inevitable as patients lived longer.

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Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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