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Published on 6 October 2014

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Pfizer launches medicines optimisation scratch card

A medicines optimisation scratch card launched by Pfizer at the Pharmacy Show, aims to increase patient engagement with the pharmacy team and create opportunities to engage patients with pharmacy services such as medicines use reviews (MURs) and new medicines service (NMS).

A medicines optimisation scratch card launched by Pfizer at the Pharmacy Show, aims to increase patient engagement with the pharmacy team and create opportunities to engage patients with pharmacy services such as medicines use reviews (MURs) and new medicines service (NMS).

The post-card sized scratch card contains five simple statements about medicines use. Individuals scratch a section of the card to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with each statement and then return the card to a member of the pharmacy team who will interpret the responses and provide appropriate advice and guidance.

Medicines optimisation is essential to ensuring we are getting the best from investment and use in medicines both in terms of improving the public’s health and in delivering value for the NHS. Pharmacists have an essential role to play in optimising medicines use and pharmacy services, like the NMS, have been shown to have a positive impact on patient adherence as well as offering the NHS savings by reducing the burden on GP services,’ said Ash Soni, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. ‘However, public awareness of pharmacy services is low and we need to address this so that more people are able to benefit. The scratch cards are designed to capture public attention and I welcome any tool that creates opportunities for pharmacy teams and the public to engage in meaningful conversations about medicines.’

The medicines optimisation scratch card has been developed in consultation with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and is also supported by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), and Pharmacy Voice.  Posters to advertise the availability of the scratch cards and a campaign guide for pharmacies have also been developed to support the launch.

 

Further information on the scratch card campaign materials will be found on www.accesspfizer.co.uk, where pharmacies will also be able to place orders for materials. Members of the professional organisations supporting the campaign will also be able to find further information on their websites: www.npa.co.uk, www.psnc.org.uk, www.rps.org and www.pharmacyvoice.com.

The scratch cards will be launched to the general public on 20th October. We are hosting a roadshow with a series of events across England and Wales in 2014/15 to raise awareness of the campaign.

Millions of pounds are wasted every year on unused and untaken medicines and in many cases this is simply because people don’t know enough about their medicines or how to take them,’ says Mike Holden, Chief Executive of the NPA. ‘Pharmacists are medicines experts. We need to use every opportunity to encourage people to visit their local pharmacies and use the pharmacy team’s expertise to help them understand more about medicines and when and how they should take them.’

Community pharmacies are ideally placed to help people to understand how to get the most out of their prescribed medicines; and we know the benefits that this can bring in empowering people to better manage their long-term conditions and to avoid complications that can affect their quality of life and require costly NHS treatments,’ says Sue Sharpe, Chief Executive Officer of the PSNC. ‘We have seen the positive difference that both MURs and the NMS can make to medicines adherence levels, so we fully support this initiative which we hope will prove useful to pharmacy teams looking to have those first conversations with patients about their medicines.’

Pfizer is committed to supporting community pharmacy and through Pfizer Healthy Partnerships (PHP) provides a range of tools and resources to assist pharmacists in helping their patients to get the best out of their medicines. The scratch card is the latest resource developed as part of Pfizer’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness of medicines optimisation.

Paula Tully, Head of Global Established Pharma UK at Pfizer said, ‘The medicines optimisation campaign is now in its third year and Pfizer is proud to be able to continue this campaign with the support and partnership of the pharmacy community’s leaders. The launch of the scratch card builds on the groundwork of previous years campaigns and provides pharmacy teams with a practical tool to support the use of pharmacy expertise and services.’

References:

  1. Medicines Optimisation: Helping patients to make the most of medicines. Good practice guidance for healthcare professionals in England. Royal Pharmaceutical Society. May 2013.
  2. 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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