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Pharmacy Voice: What next for MURs?

Chief executive Rob Darracott explains why the service should be "re-energised"

Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott spoke exclusively to C+D about why the sector should rethink how medicine use reviews (MURs) are delivered, 11 years after they were first introduced.

Mr Darracott made the comments in the wake of allegations made by the Guardian earlier this month (April 13) that Boots encourages its pharmacists to carry out unnecessary MURs for profit – claims the multiple told C+D it "doesn't recognise".

Do you think MURs should be reformed?

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Pillman Uk, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Someone just hit the nail on the head, fund the pharmacist rather than the pharmacy.

Reduce salaries by the MUR funding and then everyone is happy.

No pressure from management to recoup the monies that were taken out of the contract to fund MURs, and the pharmacist can do as many murs as they feel appropriate.

Not? Bad idea?

OK then, what do we need to do to encourage pharmacists to deliver the maximum benefit to the maximum number of patients via an MUR?

Personally I don't think there should be a cap, perhaps link it to Rx volumes?

But we do need to get pharmacists on board with this, but with the reality of the funding that is associated with this activity.

I agree that pharmacists shouldn't be made ill with pressures from non pharmacy management, but also businesses shouldn't be held to ransom by pharmacists incapable or unwilling to do MURs.

I've had locums plainly state that they will only do two murs a booking. How is that patient centred, what about that third potential MUR that could have just clarified those issues with the oral anticoagulant patient?

We need some balance and some positive thinking on how to get the best out of the MUR scheme for all parties

Concerned pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Let the patients request an MUR rather than forcing one on them. If patients don't ask even if the service is well promoted with posters and leaflets then maybe that is because they don't value the MUR  much as we might think. Take the funding away from additional services and put it back into supply. But at the same time make it mandatory that additional services be openly offered to every patient through posters and leaflets with design specified by the government.


Concerned pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Rob, you have completely missed the point. Most commenters see the value of MURs; it is the design of the pharmacy contract and the consequent bullying to hit targets which is the issue. You don't address either.

Posted on Wed, 27/04/2016 - 08:06

Speak up; don't be afraid. This is the opportunity to return to professional autonomy. Be responsible. If every single pharmacist wrote to their Superintendent spelling out their concerns then there is a chance to eliminate the target culture. The problem lies with the Phamacy contract which has created this culture. PSNC have the opportunity to address this but appear to be suggesting changes where targets will flourish. We need to grasp this at grass root level and force a rethink. Please write to your Superintendent today; there is no personal risk if we all act as one.    

When MURs were first introduced it was anticipated that we would offer the service and that patients would ask for MURs. Very soon the position where patients were press ganged into the consultation room whether they wanted to or not developed.



Mar Mite, Community pharmacist

Please will we stop shooting ourselves in the foot over MURs. Don't do inappropriate MURs. Stop suggesting the service should be scrapped, pick the right patients and give appropriate medicine and healthy lifestyle related counselling advice. 

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

What planet do you practice pharmacy. Did you not read the guardian article ? Or do you work for Boots ? In which case I hold my hands up.

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

What about the bullying and pressure on pharmacists by Boots? Any viewws on this Mr Darracott?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Fund the Pharmacist rather then the Pharmacy with the fee from an MUR? I think you'll find the harrassment to do more MURs from upper management swifty dissappear overnight.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

It is all about the net profit regardless of how hard this publication tries to canonise contractors. 


Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

A light has been shone on the shoddy practises with regards to how Pharmacists are being pressurised to conduct MUR's. Mr Darracott has shown little insight into this matter nor does he seem to comprehend the seriousness of the current situation ....................................................................................................................................................

It cannot be a little sticking plaster here or there. We need FUNDAMENTAL reform for ALL services and an honest dialogue in the profession.


Given the nature of how Pharmacy Voice is funded it should carry little authority on ANY matter pertaining to Professional Practice.

Yuna Mason, Sales

What were his thoughts about inappropriate pressure and bullying? Oh yes - it's the same guy who said the profession doesn't have time to turn inwardly to talk about it. 

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

"Vast majority of pharmacists are providing MURs of proven value to patients" Well yes strictly speaking if you phrase it that way. To qualify a pharmacist only has to do a single MUR of "proven value". He doesn't get it does he? It's  not about the pharmacists it's about the mindset of the employers. They don't give a *oss about proven value. When they ring to ask "how many MURs have you done they never ask how many were of proven value.

sanjai sankar, Locum pharmacist

Totally agree Barry....I don't know why these leaders cannot speak in simple, non-dimplomatic tones and just say it as it is...He didn't address the most important question of MUR bullying by employers either....

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