Medicines have had an enormously positive impact on the lives of millions of people, however sometimes taking too many medicines can cause problems for the people using them. We call this problematic polypharmacy. 

This can happen when medicines prescribed aren’t right for the person anymore, when the harm of using the medicine outweighs the benefit, when using multiple medicines causes harm or cause practical difficulties for the person using them.

There is a need to tackle problematic polypharmacy because it is a growing problem. People are taking more and more medicines, sometimes leading to problems and this will cause strain to the National Health Service, healthcare professionals and risk to the people taking them.

We have developed guidance to outline the size of the challenge of problematic polypharmacy,highlight the good work being done to address it and make clear recommendations to organisations and individuals involved with medicines as part of the care of the people they serve.


Consulting on RPS polypharmacy professional guidance

Working with a multi-disciplinary steering group our draft is now available for open consultation for 8 weeks. Deadline for responding is Tuesday 28th August 2018.

We invite everyone to read our draft professional guidance and to let us know how this can be improved.

For a copy of the consultation draft of the RPS polypharmacy guidance click here:

We are collecting consultation responses through surveymonkey, please click here to respond to the consultation.







Key dates

  • August 2017: Steering group assembled
  • November 2017: Steering group agree scope
  • December to February 2018: Drafting and revisions
  • March 2018: Steering group discuss revisions
  • 3rd July to 28th August 2018: Draft available for open consultation
  • August to October 2018: Review and thematic analysis of consultation responses 
  • October 2018: Steering group discuss and agree changes following consultation and literature review