BJGP Interviews

The British Journal of General Practice

Listen to BJGP Interviews for the latest updates on primary care and general practice research. Hear from researchers and clinicians who will update and guide you to the best practice. We all want to deliver better care to patients and improve health through better research and its translation into practice and policy. The BJGP is a leading international journal of primary care with the aim to serve the primary care community. Whether you are a general practitioner or a nurse, a researcher, we publish a full range of research studies from RCTs to the best qualitative literature on primary care. In addition, we publish editorials, articles on the clinical practice, and in-depth analysis of the topics that matter. We are inclusive and determined to serve the primary care community. BJGP Interviews brings all these articles to you through conversations with world-leading experts. The BJGP is the journal of the UK's Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). The RCGP grant full editorial independence to the BJGP and the views published in the BJGP do not necessarily represent those of the College. For all the latest research, editorials and clinical practice articles visit ( If you want all the podcast shownotes plus the latest comment and opinion on primary care and general practice then visit BJGP Life ( read less
Health & FitnessHealth & Fitness
What are the trends around private prescribing of opioids in England and why does it matter?
What are the trends around private prescribing of opioids in England and why does it matter?
In this episode, we talk to Dr Georgia Richards, who is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford. Paper: Private prescribing of controlled opioids in England, 2014-2021: a retrospective observational studyAvailable at: are concerns over the long-term, high-dose use of opioids in people with chronic pain – trends for which have been described using NHS prescription data. However, opioids can also be acquired from outside of NHS services, including private prescribers, over-the-counter (e.g. CoCodamol), and through online healthcare services and pharmacies or the “dark web”. Without exploring non-NHS data, the full picture of opioid use in England cannot be understood. This is one of the first studies that sought to fill this important gap by investigating opioid prescribing in the private sector. We found that the number of controlled opioid items prescribed by private prescribers in England halved between January 2014 and November 2021, and that most prescribing occurred from prescribers in London. There were also controlled opioid items dispensed by “unidentified doctors”, which must be addressed to ensure patient safety. While there is the monitoring of controlled drug prescribing by NHS England Controlled Drug Accountable Officers, expanding access to such data to allow for a greater visibility and wider analysis of non-NHS data, including the private prescribing of controlled opioids, will help identify harms and policy gaps that can be addressed to improve patient safety.