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What happened during C+D's #MURabuse debate?

Credit: Andrew Cheung

Readers debated how to reduce instances of inappropriate MURs, and discussed exclusive data on the pressures to hit targets

The Twitter debate is now over. Read the full discussion as it happened here, and continue to share your thoughts on the topic by using the hashtag #MURabuse

C+D readers can debate on Twitter the sector's proposed solutions to the allegations of widespread abuse of medicines use reviews (MURs) raised in recent coverage in a national newspaper.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), and several pharmacy bodies, have responded to claims that pharmacy chains are placing pharmacists under pressure to carry out inappropriate MURs to boost profits.

The allegations were raised last week in an article in The Guardian newspaper, which claimed that managers at Boots routinely pressurises staff into carrying out unnecessary MURs to maximise financial gains.

C+D is hosting a Twitter debate today (April 22) and will share exclusive results from reader polls on how often pharmacy staff feel pressurised into carrying out unnecessary MURs, the impact of target pressure on the quality of this service, and how the profession feels the issue can be tackled.

Join in the debate by following @ChemistDruggist on Twitter and tagging your tweets with the hashtag #MURabuse. You can follow all of our coverage here and in next week's issue of C+D. 


Concerned pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Speak up; don't be afraid. This is the opportunity to return to professional autonomy. Be responsible. If every single pharmacist wrote to their Superintendent spelling out their concerns then there is a chance to eliminate the target culture. The problem lies with the Phamacy contract which has created this culture. PSNC have the opportunity to address this but appear to be suggesting changes where targets will flourish. We need to grasp this at grass root level and force a rethink. Please write to your Superintendent today; there is no personal risk if we all act as one.    

Patrick Leppard, Community pharmacist

MURs sometimes bring significant benefits to patients’ care, particularly by improving inhaler technique, supporting patient compliance and by picking up interactions / side effects, so let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater here.

It is not always possible to know before starting an MUR whether the patient will benefit or not but, in my experience, most improve their understanding of the medications they take, at the very least. Others go from a totally ineffective use of their medicines to becoming well controlled just by having someone explain to them how to use their medications correctly. It is an important role – don’t undervalue it.

Lucy Howie, Primary care pharmacist

Absolutely Patrick, the thing is you can't know what use you will be until you engage with your patients. Sometimes what appears to be the simplest of MURs, will be an opportunity for us to provide invaluable advice. In my experience, the more you do the more patients come back for further advice, instead of going straight to the surgery.

Shahid Bashir, Locum pharmacist

Agree with Harry tolly. 

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

EVERYONE knew about the issue of MUR abuse. The GPhC thought it could wash it away. There is loads of research out there (including from PDA) that had already established that this abuse was endemic across the multiple community sector and that this misuse of MUR's was NOT in the public or professional interest.



Ivor Biggun, Pharmacist

>>how to reduce instances of inappropriate MURs?

Ban 'em. Not fit for purpose.

Ditto for NMS.

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

ivor biggun......copied from the hit comedy ......the thin blue line...

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