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Pharmacists back new advanced service but warn investment is needed

Pharmacists have backed a new advanced service unveiled by PSNC and NHS employers this week, although some have cautioned it will require investment from pharmacies to be a success.

Pharmacists have backed a new advanced service unveiled by PSNC and NHS employers this week, although some have cautioned it will require investment from pharmacies to be a success. The new medicine service (NMS) will see pharmacists paid to counsel patients with long-term conditions who are starting new medicines. The £110 million service aims to improve medicines adherence and will involve follow-up appointments at two and four weeks. Bharat Shah, managing director at Sigma Pharmaceuticals, said the news emphasised the importance of pharmacists moving towards more service-led business models. "It's good news that this service is there for everyone, but my worry is that the multiples will get a big share of this rather than independents," he explained. One reader posting on C+D's website said: "There will be a lot of work involved in this scheme and more investment in time. But if this is showing confidence for pharmacy going forward, then it is good." Other pharmacists highlighted the advice they were already giving on new medicines. "We're experts in medicines so we would be ideally placed to discuss these issues with patients," said Taseen Iqbal, community pharmacist at Modi Pharmacy, Dudley. "At the start we would often give advice anyway, but hopefully this will give the patient a bit more opportunity to ask us questions." Aina Osunkunle, pharmacist at K & A Pharmacy in Gateshead, echoed the comments: "I think it's a good service – I suppose it would be looked at as an extension of what we're already doing with our patients on new medicines."

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