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Medicines optimisation public awareness campaign


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Pfizer will extend its medicines optimisation awareness campaign into 2013 with a launch to consumers on the 25th of November. This year, the campaign which first appeared in October 2012, reveals statistics from a new patient survey about how the public take their medicines highlighting the importance of medicines adherence and the expertise available within community pharmacy to support patients in getting the best out of their medicines.
The survey, which polled 1,500 members of the public, revealed 74% of the respondents said they would be more likely to take their medicines as prescribed if they understood more about them, yet many were unaware of the wide range of medicines advice and support readily available through their high street pharmacies.(1) Taking medicines as prescribed is essential in ensuring our future good health, keeping us working and reducing the burden on the NHS.(2)
Prof Rob Horne, Professor of Behavioural Medicine, University College London (UCL) School of Pharmacy, whose team assisted in the development of the survey comments, “The results of the survey support published data, confirming that patients do experience difficulties in following treatment recommendations and that the reasons for this are many and complex. This highlights the need for tailored information that addresses patients’ individual perceptual and practical barriers to medicines adherence and with a pharmacy on every high-street, pharmacy teams are well placed to contribute to this.”
The medicines optimisation campaign is supported by The National Pharmacy Association (NPA), The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), Pharmacy Voice and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).  In addition the campaign features a range of eye-catching pharmacy posters, which this year includes a new patient webpage hosted by the NPA’s Ask Your Pharmacist website The addition of the webpage provides the public with easy access to a range of resources about medicines use and pharmacy services both on and other websites.
“The NPA is keen to support any activity that reminds the public of the medicines expertise that resides in community pharmacy and highlights the services we can provide to support effective medicines use and improve health outcomes,” says Mike Holden, Chief Executive of the NPA. “I would encourage our members to get involved and use this campaign as an opportunity to engage with patients in their pharmacies.”
This year’s activity will follow a more targeted approach, concentrating on five specific regions in order to measure public response to the campaign. Using the same striking imagery from the 2012 campaign, a revamped national poster and three new regional posters have been produced for the North West, North East, and South East England. For the first time posters for North and South Wales, in both Welsh and English language versions are available. Posters can be downloaded from the websites of the organisations supporting the campaign.
Commenting on the launch, Alison Wheeler, Head of Customer and Channel Marketing at Pfizer said, “By continuing the medicines optimisation campaign in 2013, we aim to reinforce important messages to the public about the value of community pharmacy and to encourage patients to take advantage of pharmacy services and expertise. Pfizer is committed to supporting community pharmacy and, through Pfizer Healthy Partnerships, we provide a range of tools and resources to assist pharmacists in helping their patients to get the best out of their medicines.”
Pfizer supports medicines optimisation by encouraging more collaboration with the NHS and local health economies, by understanding their specific needs and working together to develop solutions for their communities.
  1. Pfizer Medicines Optimisation Patient Survey. Data on file. September 2013.
  2. Delivering Value to the UK. The contribution of the pharmaceutical industry to patients, the NHS and the economy. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. 2013.
  3. Evaluation of the Scale, Causes and Costs of Waste Medicines Final report, YHEC / School of Pharmacy University of London, November 2010.

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