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Warning on pharmacy move

Supplementary prescribing by pharmacists risks fragmenting patient care and may be at odds with a patient-centred NHS, a new report warns.

The interview-based research concluded the introduction of pharmacist-run chronic disease clinics could force patients with multiple conditions to consult several different prescribers.

The report, commissioned by the Pharmacy Practice Research Trust, also warned that neither patients nor other health professionals properly understood pharmacists' supplementary prescribing role.

Study leader Dr Marjorie Weiss, head of the pharmacy practice group at the University of Bath, said: 'Patients with multiple conditions may be disadvantaged in this supplementary prescribing model and need to consult multiple prescribers for different aspects of their clinical care.

'In this sense, supplementary prescribing can be seen as being at odds with patient-centred care and a patient-led NHS, instead being designed around the health care system and the capabilities of different professional groups.'

The researchers interviewed pharmacist supplementary prescribers, doctors, patients and other health professionals, as well as observing patient consultations.

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