A government-commissioned review of pharmacy services could address the quarter of a million atrial fibrillation (AF) patients currently on the wrong treatment, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said.
Campaign group AF 180 Degrees highlighted last week that more than 260,000 AF patients are either not receiving preventative treatment or are only taking aspirin, despite the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (Nice) no longer recommending this as treatment.
These patients could be at greater risk of stroke, the campaign group stressed.
Pharmacy services review
In response to the findings, RPS English pharmacy board chair Sandra Gidley highligted that the forthcoming Murray Review – led by the King's Fund-led and due to be completed by October – will be looking at the clinical services provided by community pharmacy.
"Using pharmacists’ clinical and prescribing skills, combined with a greater role in supporting people with long-term conditions, is the way forward to making sure AF patients are on the right treatment," Ms Gidley told C+D today (June 20).
“One of the biggest problem with [AF patients] is under-diagnosis,” Ms Gidley added.
AF 180 Degrees took its figures from anonymised GP practice data, which revealed that 13.5% of the 895,000 patients reviewed were only receiving aspirin for stroke prevention in 2016, while 15.7% were receiving no treatment at all.
Read more about the study, as well as current Nice guidelines for AF patients, here.