Pharmacy Voice has called for the cap on medicines use reviews (MURs) to be lifted to increase support for elderly patients.
All patients aged over 75 on four or more medicines should have access to an MUR “every six months and immediately after hospital discharge”, the lobbying group said in a white paper published today (November 2).
To enable this, the annual MUR cap of 400 per pharmacy should be reviewed and GPs should raise patients’ awareness of the service, it stressed.
A Pharmacy Voice-commissioned survey of 200 English GPs, conducted by research company MedeConnect last month, suggested that 92% of the profession would like greater support from pharmacy teams to “help older people take their medicines correctly”, it said.
The survey also revealed that 82% of GPs believe their patients would benefit from more advice about medicines use, while a similar percentage feel community pharmacy “should play a central role in managing the health of the elderly”, Pharmacy Voice said.
Next phase of Dispensing Health campaign
The white paper marks the beginning of the second phase of Pharmacy Voice’s Dispensing Health campaign, which launched in 2014 as way to highlight the sector’s medicines management role.
This phase is intended to “look at how community pharmacy services can be deployed at different life stages, starting with later life”, the organisation said.
Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott said conducting MURs every six months can have a “significant impact on the quality of people’s lives, reduce hospital admissions and deliver significant savings to the NHS”.
“If regular [medicines] reviews achieved just one fewer prescription per person per year, this could deliver tens of millions of pounds back to the [health] service,” he said.
Pharmacy Voice wants to see “GPs actively encouraging older people to access their community pharmacy to help with their medicines management”, he added.