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Two-thirds of pharmacists under daily MUR target pressure

How often do you feel pressured to provide an MUR, regardless of whether it will benefit the patient?

Two in three readers say they feel under pressure to provide a medicines use review at least once a day, according to a poll of C+D readers

EXCLUSIVE

Two in three pharmacy staff say they feel under pressure to provide a medicines use review (MURs) at least once a day, according to a poll of C+D readers.

Some 66% of 888 community pharmacy professionals said that they feel pressured by their employer to provide an MUR more than daily, regardless of whether it would benefit the patient. The poll ran online on the C+D website from April 15.

The poll also revealed that 40% of respondents feel pressured more than once a day, with just over 10% reporting it occurs once a week.

However, 20% said they never felt pressured to provide an MUR.

C+D’s poll came after allegations made by the Guardian earlier this month, which suggested managers encourage pharmacists to abuse MURs for financial gain. Boots told C+D at the time it “doesn’t recognise" the newspaper’s claims, and later said it takes pharmacists being put under pressure “very seriously”.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) inspectors have only criticised one Boots pharmacy in relation to its targets or incentives, the multiple stressed last week (April 24). Boots “took immediate action to address the issues raised” by the GPhC, it added.

Reader reaction: "Ghastly" pressure

Pharmacists who took part in C+D’s Twitter debate discussed the scale of the pressure staff face to meet targets for MURs. Some gave examples of how they are urged to carry out MURs in the workplace – revealing both employee pharmacists and locums are under pressure.

This is the latest in a series of articles exploring the issue of MUR abuse, folllowing on from our Twitter debate. We'll be sharing more exclusive data on the profession's view on MURs, and coverage of the debate, throughout the week.

12 Comments

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

 

 

 

A former Boots pharmacist has been struck off the register for falsifying an estimated 67 MURs and lying to conceal his misconduct.

 

Hurfan Azam, registration number 2061824, said he had exaggerated MUR claims because of "continuous" pressure to meet targets, at a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) fitness-to-practise hearing on April 4.

 

But the GPhC rejected his claims and said Mr Azam had failed to show genuine remorse for his dishonesty, instead maintaining "nothing was his fault".

 

Mr Azam took his first job as a pharmacist at a Boots branch in central Birmingham in July 2008. The store had a target of completing 400 MURs every year, the GPhC heard.

Concerned pharmacist, Community pharmacist

A spokesman from the GPhC said "problem, what problem?. Let's now  strike off the other 66% of pharmacists who have buckled under the pressure. "

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I feel sorry for pharmacists when they are pressured in this way typically in a pharmacy with an unoptimal level of staff. Simply makes conducting an MUR a really difficult process that leads to a pile up of work to come back to, and commonly sees patients deciding to go elsewhere for their medication because they didn't want to wait. Consider you've lost that patient forever compared to the sum gained, it's simply not good business. 

N Patel, Community pharmacist

Dr Messenger article of the 14/4/16 "hits it on the head".

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Forgot to add, How many are trolls and how many are paid to take this survey??

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

How many of them are from multiples and how many are from independents? Next how many of them are employed and how many are locums? Finally, what is the reason that they fear to complete a MUR, if they have taken charge as a RP? What happened to the Whistle-blower policy? End of the day, everyone wants to earn, have a family, go for holidays etc. etc. So, when a Survey Monkey asks me to tick boxes what would I do. First of all, I would think, if I don't have time to do my job, how do I get time to fill in these surveys??

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Thank you Mr Pessina for your contribution, but why on earth somebody of your wealth is bothering with the comments page of a trade magazine is beyond me

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

So everybody is lying ? Interesting way to look at it. 'Everybody wants to earn'----- Thieves sometimes utter similar words when up in front of a judge.

Fuzzy Wuzzy, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Shame you couldn't find out what % of these under pressure pharmacists worked for the multiples.....or would that be opening pandora 's box??

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Look these figures in the C&D survey combined with the serious allegations in the Guardian series of articles “How Boots went rogue” et al and the record number of letters sent in response by Pharmacists to said articles.

 

I believe that the only conclusion is that MURs in their present format (especially regarding remuneration) are not fit for purpose and should be scrapped. 

Yuna Mason, Sales

It's more good evidence. Bear in mind also that some of those who responded were probably business owners, so might account for some of the 20% who said never. James Waldron said in the Twitter debate #murabuse that there was a rumour Keith Ridge has agreed to an independent review of pharmacy services delivery. Any more news?

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

And yet the chubby boys at the GPhC did not pick up on this and now is asking for information from PDA and The Guardian.  This is merely the chubby boys trying to save their bacon. 

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AND YET, I believe, that the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation (criminalisation) proposes to give power of allowing ABSENCE and SELLING P meds in ABSENCE of Pharmacist to this unfit for purpose GPhC (via rules it would devise !!)

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The GPhC , like South Yorkshire police needs to be disbanded as it has lost ALL credibility since the MUR issue.

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