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Could MUR allegations undermine sector's funding cut fight?

Pharmacy Voice chief Rob Darracott says claims that Boots staff are pressured to carry out unnecessary MURs have caused "significant harm" to public perception

The sector “does not have time to turn inwardly” in the wake of allegations that Boots pressured staff to abuse medicines use reviews (MURs), Pharmacy Voice has said.

The Guardian published an article last week (April 13) accusing the chain’s managers of treating the government’s 400-MUR cap as a “target”. The newspaper also claimed that one Boots pharmacist from the Midlands had been instructed to carry out an MUR on a patient with dementia.

Read Boots' denial of the allegations here.

"Significant harm"

Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott said the story has already caused “significant harm” to the sector’s reputation, at a time when the “window of opportunity” to persuade the government against imposing a 6% cut on pharmacy funding in England is “narrowing by the day”.

“We should be under no illusions. Stories like this undermine the case for the sector and, in the eyes of the public, damage the reputation of our profession,” he said.

Mr Darracott reiterated the importance of MURs, after defending their proper use last week. Pharmacists must demonstrate the success of MURs to make the “strongest possible case” for being commissioned to deliver more advanced services in the future, he said.

“Whether our best is providing a first rate service to our patients or fighting off ill thought-out government proposals, right now we can ill afford to do anything less,” he said.

Pharmacists' Defence Association chairman Mark Koziol told C+D last Friday (April 15) that the MUR system should be "comprehensively re-engineered" to focus more on clinical care.

C+D will be hosting a debate on Twitter, to discuss MURs, patient safety and targets - on Friday April 22 at 2pm. Join in and share your views; follow @ChemistDruggist and use the hashtag #MURabuse.


How often do you feel pressured to provide an MUR, regardless of whether it will benefit the patient?
More than once a day
Every day
Two or three times a week
Once a week
Once a month
Total votes: 1110


Do you feel under pressure to meet targets?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


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