Prescribing for Population Health (PPH) is an ongoing series that aims to support ICSs to improve the health of the populations they serve. PPHs use prescribing data, biomedical literature and other data sources to provide new insights.

Problematic polypharmacy is a significant concern with overprescribing and occurs where the prescribing of multiple medicines is either inappropriate or where the intended benefit of the medication is not realised. Prescribing cascades contribute to problematic polypharmacy because they can lead to inappropriate medication use, adverse drug reactions, poor outcomes and increased healthcare resource use that could be avoided.

The publication aims to raise awareness of potential prescribing cascades and to highlight resources, tools, and strategies to help identify, prevent, and resolve inappropriate cascades.

This publication is part of our Strategic Support and Planning contract. To gain access please email us at