Medicine optimisation

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Medicine optimisation

Talk to your pharmacy team about getting the best out of your medicines

Did you know that:

  • 42% of people have stopped taking a medicine without seeking medical advice1
  • 50% do not take their medicines as prescribed all of the time1
  • 21% have shared medicines with friends or relatives1

These figures come from a new survey conducted by Pfizer that highlights as patients, we may not always fully understand how to get the best out of our medicines. Medicines play an important part in our healthcare. Not taking them as prescribed means that we do not get the best out of our medicines and as a result, our symptoms may not be managed effectively and our health could suffer.

Additionally, unused and untaken medicines have a significant financial impact, costing the NHS around £300 million each year in the UK.2 Using medicines more effectively in order to improve patients' health, reduce waste and improve medicines safety is known as medicines optimisation in England and pharmaceutical care in Scotland and Wales.3 4

Some people experience difficulty in adhering to medicines, especially in long-term conditions such as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.5 With our busy lives, at times it's easy to forget to take a dose of medicine or take it at the wrong time. Sometimes we don't fully understand why we need to take a particular medicine or we don't want to take it because we are worried about the side effects.

Studies show that being more involved in decisions about our medicines means that we are more likely to stay on medicines and improve our health.6

Over two thirds of the people in the survey said that they would be more likely to take their medicines if they understood more about them, yet many were unaware of the wide range of medicines advice and support readily available through their high street pharmacies.1

Pharmacists are medicines experts and the pharmacy team can play an important role in helping people to understand more about taking and staying on medicines. The pharmacy team can support patients in making lifestyle changes that may improve the outlook for their health and wellbeing.

Pfizer, one of the world's largest innovative biopharmaceutical companies, is continuing its medicines optimisation in 2013 to encourage the public to visit their local pharmacies and talk to the pharmacy team about how to get the best out of their medicines. The campaign features a range of eye-catching posters displayed in pharmacies across England and Wales which encourage people to visit their pharmacy to find out:

  • Why you should take your medicines as prescribed
  • What your medicine does
  • When and how you should take your medicine


UK/PHP/13/0225 : Date of Preparation: November 2013

Please note this is an artistic impression and is not a scaled representation of buildings or medicines

This campaign is supported by the organisations that represent the pharmacy teams: The National Pharmacy Association (NPA), The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), Pharmacy Voice and The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).


References:

1. Pfizer - Medicines Optimisation Patient Survey. Data on File September 2013
2. Evaluation of the Scale, Causes and Costs of Waste Medicines Final Report, YHEC/School of Pharmacy University of London, November 2010. http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2010/research/nhs-medicines-waste/
3. Medicines optimisation: Helping Patients to make the most of their medicines. Royal Pharmaceutical Society. 2013 http://www.rpharms.com/promoting-pharmacy-pdfs/helping-patients-make-the-most-of-their-medicines.pdf
4. The Right Medicines: A strategy for pharmaceutical care in Scotland. Scottish Executive. 2002. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/158742/0043086.pdf
5. Adherence to Long-term Therapies. Evidence for Action. World Health Organisation 2003.
6. Shared decision making: improving outcomes by changing relationships. The Health Foundation. 2011. http://www.health.org.uk/news-and-events/newsletter/shared-decision-making-improving-outcomes-by-changing-relationships/

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Talk to your pharmacy team about getting the best out of your medicines

Did you know that:

  • 42% of people have stopped taking a medicine without seeking medical advice1
  • 50% do not take their medicines as prescribed all of the time1
  • 21% have shared medicines with friends or relatives1

These figures come from a new survey conducted by Pfizer that highlights as patients, we may not always fully understand how to get the best out of our medicines. Medicines play an important part in our healthcare. Not taking them as prescribed means that we do not get the best out of our medicines and as a result, our symptoms may not be managed effectively and our health could suffer.

Additionally, unused and untaken medicines have a significant financial impact, costing the NHS around £300 million each year in the UK.2 Using medicines more effectively in order to improve patients' health, reduce waste and improve medicines safety is known as medicines optimisation in England and pharmaceutical care in Scotland and Wales.3 4

Some people experience difficulty in adhering to medicines, especially in long-term conditions such as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.5 With our busy lives, at times it's easy to forget to take a dose of medicine or take it at the wrong time. Sometimes we don't fully understand why we need to take a particular medicine or we don't want to take it because we are worried about the side effects.

Studies show that being more involved in decisions about our medicines means that we are more likely to stay on medicines and improve our health.6

Over two thirds of the people in the survey said that they would be more likely to take their medicines if they understood more about them, yet many were unaware of the wide range of medicines advice and support readily available through their high street pharmacies.1

Pharmacists are medicines experts and the pharmacy team can play an important role in helping people to understand more about taking and staying on medicines. The pharmacy team can support patients in making lifestyle changes that may improve the outlook for their health and wellbeing.

Pfizer, one of the world's largest innovative biopharmaceutical companies, is continuing its medicines optimisation in 2013 to encourage the public to visit their local pharmacies and talk to the pharmacy team about how to get the best out of their medicines. The campaign features a range of eye-catching posters displayed in pharmacies across England and Wales which encourage people to visit their pharmacy to find out:

  • Why you should take your medicines as prescribed
  • What your medicine does
  • When and how you should take your medicine

UK/PHP/13/0225 : Date of Preparation: November 2013

This campaign is supported by the organisations that represent the pharmacy teams: The National Pharmacy Association (NPA), The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), Pharmacy Voice and The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

References

  1. Pfizer - Medicines Optimisation Patient Survey. Data on File September 2013
  2. Evaluation of the Scale, Causes and Costs of Waste Medicines Final Report, YHEC/School of Pharmacy University of London, November 2010. http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2010/research/nhs-medicines-waste/
  3. Medicines optimisation: Helping Patients to make the most of their medicines. Royal Pharmaceutical Society. 2013 http://www.rpharms.com/promoting-pharmacy-pdfs/helping-patients-make-the-most-of-their-medicines.pdf
  4. The Right Medicines: A strategy for pharmaceutical care in Scotland. Scottish Executive. 2002. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/158742/0043086.pdf
  5. Adherence to Long-term Therapies. Evidence for Action. World Health Organisation 2003.
  6. Shared decision making: improving outcomes by changing relationships. The Health Foundation. 2011. http://www.health.org.uk/news-and-events/newsletter/shared-decision-making-improving-outcomes-by-changing-relationships/
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