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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

General News

PharmOutcomes data proves NMS success

Evidence taken from the PharmOutcomes platform has proven the impact the New Medicine Service (NMS) is having on medicines adherence and in doing so provided key evidence to be used to help persuade the Government and Department of Health of the value in commissioning it beyond April 2013.

An analysis was carried out by Gary Warner, chair of PSNC’s service development subcommittee, on PharmOutcomes data covering NMS interventions provided to more than 224,000 patients between 1st October 2011 and 30th September 2012.

The analysis found that 31.9% of non-adherent patients became adherent to 31.5% of their medicines after the NMS intervention. It also showed that pharmacists gave 366,702 pieces of healthy living advice to patients while they provided the service.

Other key findings from the analysis included that:

  • 99.6% of NMS patients were recruited directly by pharmacies, with the remainder referred by GP practices. In some areas the GP referral levels were much higher
  • 54.4% of NMS interventions were provided for patients prescribed medicines for hypertension, with 26.4% asthma/COPD, 11.3% diabetes and 7.9% anticoagulants/antiplatelet medicines
  • Patients very rarely withdrew their consent to receive the service at the intervention stage
  • Patients on asthma and COPD medicines had the lowest incidence of side-effects, but those side-effects caused non-adherence at nearly twice the rate than in the other disease states

Commenting on the report, Gary Warner, Chairman of PSNC’s service development subcommittee, said:

“It’s difficult to find a negative in this report and it gives us a really useful piece of evidence to use in our negotiations with the Department of Health about the continuation of the NMS from April 2013.

The fact that we don’t expect to have the final report evaluating the success of the NMS from the DH commissioned academic team until the summer of 2013 makes that all the more important and we hope that our analysis will give the Department the confidence it needs to extend the original 18-month commissioning term until its own deeper analysis becomes available.

Seeing that NMS interventions are making a real difference to so many patients across England is a brilliant result and will I hope encourage pharmacies to keep up their excellent work. And of course this data does not capture all the benefits being delivered when interventions are not recorded on PharmOutcomes.”

Alastair Buxton, PSNC head of NHS Services, said:

“Some contractors have rightly questioned PSNC on the value of the PharmOutcomes system, but I hope this evidence proves just what can be achieved with it. Without this analysis, we would be entering our next negotiations relying on purely anecdotal evidence to back up our claims that the NMS is a service worth continued NHS investment. In a health service in financial crisis that would not have been a good position to be in – we need all the evidence we can get to persuade commissioners that pharmacy services are worth the investment.

Earlier this year I was delighted to see that the vast majority of pharmacies had engaged with the NMS in its first year and I hope that this latest report will renew pharmacy teams’ enthusiasm for a service that has brought additional funding for the sector and is clearly helping patients to take their medicines properly.”

Summary report on the PharmOutcomes NMS data (Nov 2012)

Full report on the PharmOutcomes NMS data (Nov 2012)

Posted 5 December 2012

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