Episode 153: What prescription medicines patients share and why

In this episode, we talk to Dr Shoba Dawson, a Senior Research Fellow within the School of Medicine and Population Health at the University of Sheffield.

Title of paper: Understanding non-recreational prescription medication sharing behaviours: A systematic review

Available at:

Sharing of prescription medicines for non-recreational purposes is a form of inappropriate medication use and such practices can cause delays in seeking medical care, masking the symptoms and severity of disease and could potentially result in the progression of the health condition. The reasons why people engage in medication sharing, how they assess the potential risks and benefits of these practices, and the factors which influence these behaviours are poorly understood. This systematic review shows that prescription medication sharing for non-recreational purposes is common with analgesics and antibiotics being the most commonly shared medications. Data on the prevalence and predictors of these behaviours are however limited. This review highlights that prescription medication sharing for non-recreational purposes is a potentially important medicines safety issue and significant public health concern which merits healthcare provider intervention, public awareness efforts and further research.

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