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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

General News

Pharmacists asked to focus on medicines optimisation

Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals have today been asked to give their patients more help with their medicines to help improve health outcomes and reduce waste.

The call came as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) published a document setting out four guiding medicines optimisation principles which it believes all healthcare professionals should adopt.

The principles, which the RPS has asked all those involved in prescribing, dispensing, administering and taking medicines to adopt, are:

  • Aim to understand the patient’s experience
  • Make sure choice of medicine is made on the best available evidence
  • Ensure medicines use is as safe as possible
  • Make medicines optimisation part of routine practice

The principles have been developed with a range of organisations representing patients and health professionals and also have the backing of NHS England, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Nursing and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

They are set out in the document Medicines Optimisation: helping patients make the most of medicines.

Welcoming the publication of the principles, Alastair Buxton, PSNC Head of NHS Services, said:

“Community pharmacy teams are already working hard to help their patients get the most out of their medicines and to tackle the many challenges we face with medicines use in this country. Advanced services such as MURs and the New Medicine Service of course make a real difference, but pharmacy teams will also be helping on a day-to-day basis outside of these, answering patients’ queries and ensuring they know how to take the medicines they are given.

These four principles give a very useful focus to that work and applying them will certainly help pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to ensure they are taking every opportunity to optimise the use of medicines in partnership with patients. As well as doing this, we would encourage LPCs and community pharmacists to seek out opportunities to be involved in leading the medicines optimisation agenda at a local level, for example through the new commissioning structures.”

Posted 2 May 2013

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