Layer 1

Pharmacists must improve medicines adherence, says RPS report

NHS currently faces a “double whammy” of buying drugs then treating patients who do not take them correctly

Pharmacists need to improve medicines adherence so the NHS is able to afford innovative treatments in the future, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said.

The NHS was currently paying a "double whammy" of costs to buy drugs and then treat patients who did not take them correctly, said Christine Bond, chair of the RPS's science expert advisory panel.

Pharmacists needed to help the NHS cut these costs so it could incentivise pharmaceutical companies to invest in more expensive but less profitable medicines, said Professor Bond at the launch of an RPS report on the better use of medicines last week (May 8).

In the future, pharmaceutical companies would no longer be able to rely on "one-size-fits-all" or "blockbuster" medicines that can be prescribed to most patients, the RPS said in its report. Instead, manufacturers needed to be encouraged to develop medicines that eradicate symptoms in specific groups of patients, it said.

The RPS said that in the future, pharmaceutical companies would no longer be able to rely on "one-size-fits-all" medicines

More on medicines adherence

COPD patients to be monitored in their homes as part of EU pilot

Future of discharge medicines reviews secured in Wales

Developing new medicines was a "costly and lengthy process" and new funding mechanisms wer needed to ensure that manufacturers also continued to invest in new short-term drugs to combat the increasing number of infections that are resistant to existing antibiotics, the RPS added.

Professor Bond said research had shown pharmacists were more "alert" than other healthcare professionals to spotting and preventing unnecessary adverse drug reactions, which would bring down NHS costs and allow the health service to spend more of its budget on these new medicines.

Although there was no "single bullet" to tackle medicine non-compliance, helping patients to understand more about their medicines was key. The early evaluation of the new medicine service had shown the benefits of pharmacists discussing medicines with patients, said Professor Bond, who is also professor of primary care at the University of Aberdeen.

If manufacturers developed personalised medicines targeted at specific patient groups, then these could also help increase adherence, she added.

The RPS made seven recommendations in its report, which called for more evidence to prove the effectiveness of pharmacy services, the development of innovative medicines and a reduction in the unnecessary use of antibiotics. The public must also be educated about new medicines, and more investment was needed in pharmaceutical science education, the RPS said.

How do you tackle medicine non-compliance?
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

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

MURs have gone a long way toward building patient confidence in Pharmacists as healthcare professionals who know about their medication. What is missing is (as usual) joined up care with communication between all involved in care , and acknowledgement from GP/nurse teams that pharmacists have a part to play AND telling patients that. Currently if i see a patients pmr showing apparent compliance issues I will either mention it in passing and emphasise the importance of compliance including the likely consequenses or use it a reason for an MUR. I get no feedback good or bad from prescribers despite having asked for it several times, though I do get some satisfaction from seeing prescription changes occasionally after reccomendations. Patients do value the service generally and a steady trickle now ask for it.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

i congratulate you on your efforts but you're [email protected]@ing in the wind. None of what you/we do is truly valued by those who hold the purse strings. In other words we like what you're doing but not enough to pay you for it.

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Well said London Locum

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Wrexham , North Wales
Great Salary & Bonus.