The NMS has been hailed a success by pharmacy leaders after data showed the service was helping patients to take their medicines properly.
The figures, collected by PSNC through the PharmOutcomes database, covered NMS interventions provided to more than 224,000 patients between October 1, 2011 when the service was launched and September 30, 2012. It revealed that 32 per cent of non-adherent patients became more adherent to their medication following the intervention.
PSNC head of NHS services Alastair Buxton said the NMS was "clearly helping patients to take their medication properly". He hoped the results would prove the NMS service was "worth continued NHS investment".
"We need all the evidence we can get to persuade commissioners that pharmacy services are worth the investment" Alastair Buxton, PSNC
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"Without this analysis, we would be entering our next negotiations relying on purely anecdotal evidence to back up our claims that the NMS is a service worth continued NHS investment," Mr Buxton said.
"In a health service in financial crisis that would not have been a good position to be in – we need all the evidence we can get to persuade commissioners that pharmacy services are worth the investment."
Numark managing director John D'Arcy said the data was helpful in proving the investment that had been made in the NHS was "worth having".
"On a general basis the hypothesis that an intervention akin to an MUR will improve patient compliance and improve patient outcomes, that's well proven," he added.
But pharmacist Raj Jain at WR Evans (Chemist) Ltd t/a Manor Pharmacy said he thought more patients would have improved medicines adherence from NMS than the data showed and called for PSNC to provide more support to contractors to help them deliver the service.
"When the NMS financial structure was reassessed I think you would have got a better adherence from pharmacists to run the NMS in general," Mr Jain said. "[But] I would have thought that figure would have been higher," he added.
"I would have thought there could be more guidance to help pharmacists improve that figure, in the way of extra training...by the PSNC."
The PSNC figures also showed that pharmacists gave 366,702 pieces of healthy living advice to patients while they provided the service.
Fifty-four per cent of interventions were provided for patients prescribed medicines for hypertension, 26 per cent for asthma/COPD, 11 per cent diabetes and 8 per cent anticoagulants/antiplatelet medicines.
The NMS is being evaluated by an independent research group to determine whether the Department of Health will continue to fund the service beyond April 2013.
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