The new service will save the NHS a lot of money

The new service will save the NHS a lot of money

A new service has been launched across England is set to provide patients that have specific long-term chronic conditions with free consultations via their local pharmacist.

The new medicine service (NMS) is set to be offered in pharmacies as part of the community pharmacy contract and will initially focus on patients with specific conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

The NHS spends around £11billion a year on medicines, making them the biggest single expenditure after staff costs. The financial pressures placed on the NHS by patients with chronic conditions who don’t adhere to their medication are therefore in the millions. The costs of poor medicine-taking are economic and human, leading to wasted NHS resources and poor health for patients.

NMS will see patients who are newly prescribed specific medications offered a free consultation in a private area with their pharmacist where they can discuss any side effects they may be suffering or simply gain more information about their specific medication.

Through the service it is hoped there will not only be a reduction in costs to the NHS, but also a reduction in hospital admissions themselves as patients become better informed, via their pharmacists, on the specific medications they are prescribed.

The service, available in 85 per cent of pharmacies in England, has been developed to take advantage of the skills pharmacists already have and is meant to be a simple conversation with a patient at a key moment in their care. By providing some advice and guidance, pharmacists hope to pre-empt any potential difficulties patients may face with their medicine and ultimately make savings for an already overstretched NHS.

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