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New campaign promotes the importance of pharmacists


Pfizer Healthy Partnerships (PHP) launches a new campaign to raise awareness of medicines optimisation – the importance of taking medicines as prescribed and the benefits this brings to patients in improving their long-term health and ensuring better value for the NHS. The campaign positions pharmacists as medicines experts who can help people to understand how, when and why they should take their prescribed medication as well as offering support to help them to be adherent with their medicines.
Unused and untaken medicines cost NHS England £300 million each year and it is estimated that a further £500 million of extra value could be generated if medicines were used more effectively.(1) This new campaign is in line with Government priorities to improve effective use of medicines and responds to the NHS’ positioning of pharmacists as having a leading role in driving medicines optimisation.
Pfizer UK is working with professional organisations and employers representing pharmacists to distribute information about the campaign in advance of the launch to the general public in October. Eye-catching posters encouraging people to seek advice from their local pharmacist are available for pharmacists to display in the pharmacy and will be supported with complementary images and materials in the national and regional English media.
Martin Astbury, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: “Not taking a medicine as prescribed means people don’t receive the real benefit from it.  As a result, their symptoms may not be managed effectively and their health could suffer further. The Government has identified pharmacy as having a key role in the future of the public’s health and we welcome any initiative that supports this, highlighting the important services pharmacists provide to their local communities.”
Ash Soni, Clinical Network Lead and Community Pharmacist, NHS Lambeth comments: “Pharmacists are already doing a great job of engaging with patients. By continuing to work closely with our customers and other health professionals we can have a positive effect on local health issues. This campaign provides us with a further opportunity to reach out to our communities and raise awareness of the important and essential services we offer.”
Speaking about the launch Jason Perfitt, Head of Pharmacy at Pfizer said: “Pfizer is committed to improving the health of the nation and championing the important role that pharmacists have to play in this.  Through Pfizer Healthy Partnerships we provide pharmacists with a range of tools and resources aimed at helping them to support their patients in taking their medicines as prescribed, leading to an overall improvement in long term health.”
  1. 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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