During the years 1972--76 drug prescriptions and sales of drugs were surveyed in Iceland. Compared with the other Nordic countries, except Denmark, sales of the psychotropic drugs which may lead to addiction were highest in Iceland, as previously reported. Here we explain the efforts of the Icelandic health authorities to reduce the legitimate consumption of psychotropic drugs. These efforts are mainly directed towards doctors' prescriptions to outpatients. A survey of prescriptions and sales of drugs in Iceland in 1976--78 revealed that (1) the number of individuals receiving drugs subject to reporting in Iceland decreased by 40% between 1976 and 1978; (2) the prescribed amount of hypnotics and sedatives subject to reporting decreased by 45% in the same period; (3) the prescribed amount of narcotic analgesics decreased by 20%; (4) the prescribed amount of amphetamines and related drugs decreased by 40%; and (5) the amount sold of diazepam and related drugs decreased by 20%. The available data suggest that EDB-registration of prescriptions subject to recording and feedback to doctors about their prescribing habits contributes to a reduction in the use of the drugs recorded.
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