Patients To Have A Say In Decisions About Their Medicine, UK

January 28, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Up to 50 per cent of medicines prescribed for long-term conditions are
not taken as recommended. This can have dire consequences for patients
leading to treatment failure and a worsening of their condition.

The pharmacy bodies have jointly welcomed the new guidance published by
NICE, aiming to help all health professionals to engage with patients and to
ensure that patients are involved in decisions about their treatment.
Pharmacists have a key role to play in helping patients to understand more
about their medicines and the options that they have.

“The guidance is a golden opportunity for all healthcare professionals
involved in prescribing, dispensing or reviewing medicines to take their
relationship with patients further, by working together to achieve the best
results from the treatment of their patients. Pharmacists are critical to
this process, if we are to solve the problem of non-adherence to medicines.”
Beth Taylor, Chair, English Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical
Society of Great Britain (RPSGB).

The new guidelines apply across all sectors of the pharmacy profession
and cover all parts of the medicines management process from prescribing,
dispensing medication review, including Medicine Use Reviews (MURs), through
to admission, discharge and medicine reconciliation.

The pharmacy bodies will work in partnership to support pharmacists to
implement the recommendations outlined in the guidelines and to improve
communication with other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s

“This guidance puts patients at the centre of medicines use and provides
an opportunity for pharmacists to play a key role, as envisaged in the White
Paper, Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths – delivering the future,
published in April 2008, helping individual patients to take their medicines
as intended.

Pharmacists across primary and secondary care have an important
contribution to make to this process – at the point of supply, as part of
MURs and as prescribers.” Jonathan Mason and Martin Stephens, National
Clinical Directors.

John Turk, Chief Executive, National Pharmacy Association (NPA), said:

“The most expensive medicines prescribed by the NHS are those that aren’t
taken correctly, or at all. This guidance recognises that the best way of
improving adherence is to involve patients in decisions about treatments, to
inform them of risks and benefits and view each patient as an individual,
rounded person, not merely the embodiment of a disease group.

“Pharmacists, as the health professionals seen more frequently than any
other by people taking long term prescribed medicines, are carrying out
interventions such as MURs and repeat dispensing, to support patients. These
guidelines will focus the NHS, pharmacists and other health professionals on
creating opportunities for greater patient involvement, improving clinical
outcomes through greater adherence.”

“All the evidence tells us that patients will open up to pharmacists
about their use of medicines – appropriate and inappropriate. On this
occasion we believe that pharmacists should be centre stage in working with
general practice to ensure a coherent patient-centred approach. The guidance
should just be the focus adherence needs to make it centre-stage in NHS
planning.” Rob Darracotte, Chief Executive, Company Chemists’ Association

Sue Wright, Chair, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiation Committee (PSCN)
said: “Community pharmacy has a central role in helping people understand
more about the medicines they use; the MUR service was introduced in 2005 to
focus community pharmacy efforts on this task and to tackle problems with
adherence. Over three quarters of pharmacies in England are now providing the
service and we expect around 1.5 million MURs to be conducted this year.”

The PSNC, CCA, NPA, RPSGB and DH have jointly responded to the guidelines
published by NICE, encouraging healthcare professionals to open a two-way
dialogue with their patients. This will give patients an opportunity to make
an informed decision about the medication available and is crucial in
understanding any concerns that they might have about the benefits or the
side-effects of taking prescribed medicines and how this may influence their
condition in the future.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB)

The RPSGB is the professional and regulatory body for pharmacists in
England, Scotland and Wales. It also regulates pharmacy technicians on a
voluntary basis, a role that is expected to become statutory under
forthcoming legislation. The primary objectives of the RPSGB are to lead,
regulate, develop and represent the profession of pharmacy.

  Company Chemists Association (CCA)

Through the CCA, its member companies work together to create an
environment where community pharmacy can flourish, and where pharmacy
contractors compete in a fair and equitable way. Our nine companies –
Alliance Boots, Co-operative Group Pharmacy, Lloyds pharmacy, Tesco, J
Sainsbury, Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Asda Wal-Mart, Rowlands Pharmacy and
Superdrug – together operate over 6,000 pharmacies in the United Kingdom.

National Pharmacy Association (NPA)

The NPA has, in voluntary membership, the vast majority of the UK’s
community pharmacy owners. The Association supplies members with a range of
services to help them maintain and improve the health of the communities they

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC)

The PSNC is the body recognised by the Secretary of State for Health as
representing community pharmacy owners in England on NHS matters. It
negotiates the national community pharmacy contractual terms with the
Department of Health and the NHS.

National Pharmacy Association



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