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NICE hypertension advice 'fails younger patients'

A new system to ease GPs' repeat prescriptions workload has been branded 'unrealistic' by the authors of a new study.

Instalment dispensing systems being piloted across 57 pathfinder PCTs cannot cope with the changing demands of elderly patients' medication, the study warned.

Researchers said GPs should 'get talking to community pharmacists' as the Government intended to roll out the instalment dispensing scheme nationwide next year.

In a review of medication changes in elderly patients over one year, the researchers found more than 73 per cent experienced a change.

Study leader Dr Duncan Petty, lecturer in health care at the University of Leeds, said instalment dispensing should move workload from GPs to pharmacists but 'there is a perception patients aren't being put on the scheme because

of worries about changes in medications'.

Dr Arnold Zermansky, a Leeds GP with an interest in medicines management, said changes in prescriptions could cause problems.

'The best thing would be for the GP and the chemist to use the same database. The good news is that if you can get it to work it should save a doctor a day of work a month.'

The research was presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester.

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