Layer 1

Half of pharmacists 'struggling' to meet revised MUR targets

PSNC says there are enough patients in the four target groups to meet the quota

Fifty-three per cent of C+D readers say they have difficulty increasing the proportion of reviews they deliver to patients from the four target groups from 50 to 70 per cent


More than half of pharmacists are struggling to hit their revised MUR targets, a C+D survey has revealed.

As set out in last October’s funding settlement, the proportion of a pharmacy’s 400 annual MURs that must be delivered to patients from four target groups officially increased from 50 to 70 per cent on April 1.

But 53 per cent of 175 respondents to a C+D poll, which ran from March 23 to April 7, said they struggled to locate enough individuals from the four groups: those on high-risk medicines, with respiratory conditions, recently discharged from hospital, or at risk of or diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

The remaining 47 per cent said they found it “easy” to find enough patients in these groups.

PSNC service development committee chair Gary Warner defended the quota increase, arguing that focusing on specific patient groups allowed the sector to help patients who would benefit most from an intervention, he told C+D.

“PSNC supported the changes to MUR requirements following [an] analysis [that] confirmed the feasibility of the changes, and we agreed a phased introduction to further ease the transition for contractors,” he said.

“If all pharmacies in England were to offer 400 MURs, that would need around 3.25 million patients in target groups. Data suggests there are more than 4 million people with asthma and COPD, 7 million with hypertension [and] over 2.5 million with diabetes,” he said.

Amish Patel, owner of Hodgson Pharmacy in Kent, said he was “a bit surprised” by the figures. “It’s a new change, and everyone struggles with change to begin with. People were struggling to hit 400 MURs; now they’re hitting 400 and the targets are changing.

“I guess less busy pharmacies might struggle, but if you’ve got a high dispensing level it shouldn’t be hard to find 400 people out of the thousands coming through the door,” he told C+D.

Numark director of pharmacy services Mimi Lau said targeted MURs “require planning, and that is probably the reason why some pharmacists are struggling with them”.

Day Lewis managing director Kirit Patel said his pharmacists were “not struggling” to reach their MUR targets. “We average 382 across all our stores. It’s only two a day, and you can’t tell me two a day is impossible,” he told C+D.

PSNC said last year that the addition of the cardiovascular group – which could be targeted for an MUR from last December – would help pharmacies reach their 70 per cent quota.

MUR tips – how to hit your targets

“To achieve 70 per cent, pharmacists need to ensure these patients are flagged up to them, either by the pharmacy staff on receipt of a prescription or by the PMR system as part of the labelling process.”
Mimi Lau, director of pharmacy services, Numark
“It’s to do with support. You need to have the right skill-mix and training [or] there’s too much pressure on the pharmacist. We recruit people who are able to dispense, freeing up the pharmacists’ time.”
Kirit Patel, managing director, Day Lewis

How do you target MURs to the correct patient groups?

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


Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Do we mean 'found it difficult to find (0.7*400=280) 280 willing participants for recruitment into an 8 year old service which the patient has received on probably half a dozen occasions, and has seen zero benefit to them from previously, due to the limitations built into it's design and implementation? Or that they genuinely didn't believe it was possible target MURs to get that high a level of 'at risk' patients in the clinically appropriate MURs they do do - if it's the later, then I agree, that's not a good sign. If it's the former, then I have to say "quelle surprise". 400 MURs isn't as a target (is any target?!) suitable for ALL Pharmacies as a target, but that's how it is with multiples. I read the article as being - I bumped up my 400 target and kept the e̶x̶-̶m̶a̶n̶a̶g̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶W̶o̶o̶l̶w̶o̶r̶t̶h̶s̶ area manager off my back for a bit this year, but if 20% more of those patients couldn't just be on Co-Codamol and Senna....then maybe not. It's a realistic view in my opinion.

Naresh Chauhan, Community pharmacist

It may be that some colleagues don't always target patients presenting Rxs for hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia and obesity etc.. These are all risk factors and therefore suitable for CV MURs, provided the criteria of 4+ meds. is satisfied.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Perhaps those struggling need more training and support too. Mental health also needs to be listed too as it's often overlooked and adherence is also important and this group of patients needs more support in the community.

Job of the week

Relief Pharmacist or store based Pharmacist
Mid Wales - Powys (Builth and Lland
Competitive Salary + Location Supplement and Benefits