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NHS England wants ‘assurances’ from sector after MUR abuse

NHS England wants “assurances” that the services pharmacists provide are "effective", in the wake of negative press coverage of medicines use reviews (MURs).

The commissioner’s assistant head of primary care Dr Jill Loader told delegates at the Pharmacy Show on Monday (September 26) that media coverage of inappropriate MURs has caused “some damage” to community pharmacy's image.

“From my perspective, and NHS England's, we need some assurances,” Dr Loader said during an event on the commissioning landscape.

“If pharmacy is going to do more clinical services, we need to make sure they are safe [and] effective,” Dr Loader said.

"We need to measure the impact of those," she added.

In April, the Guardian alleged that managers at Boots routinely pressure pharmacists to conduct unnecessary MURs, allegations which Boots "did not recognise".

Dr Loader also questioned whether MURs are the most effective way for pharmacists to “add value” to the healthcare system.

“I don’t have GPs coming to me and saying, ‘I can’t do without my local pharmacist doing MURs'," she said. “I do have NHS 111 providers and out-of-hospital providers saying, ‘What can we do about urgent medicines supply?”

“We need to look at where the problems are, and where pharmacy can take over and support, rather than duplicate what other people are doing,” she said.

Has the negative press coverage affected how you deliver MURs?

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