The NHS is throwing away hundreds of millions of pounds a year on drugs that are wasted or incorrectly used. Around 55% of medicines prescribed today are not used as directed, and medicines-use reviews (MURs) play a crucial role in boosting adherence
MURs bring patients into the decision-making process and establish them as partners in their own care, helping to tackle the confusion and isolation at the root of non-adherence. Some 90% of patients in a recent study said that MURs enhanced their knowledge about their medicines, and an overwhelming 83% rated the service as ‘good’.
There is work to be done to realise the full potential of this service, and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee is working with the Department of Health and NHS Employers to ensure MURs are better targeted, more effectively managed, and seen as a route to improved clinical outcomes. Efforts to develop the service would be greatly aided by granting pharmacists read-write access to patients’ care records, although current restrictions are by no means an insurmountable obstacle to effective adherence services.
From Alastair Buxton
Head of NHS Services, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee