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Patients to be more involved in medicines decision

Patients to be more involved in medicines decision

Patients must be more involved in making decisions about the medicines they take.

Posted: 4 March 2015

 This decision making should be based on the best available evidence and also account for the patient’s individual needs, preferences and values in guidance released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

It is claimed up to 50% of medications prescribed for long-term conditions are not taken correctly.

The number of people with multiple long-term conditions taking a number of medications has been predicted to rise from 1.9m in 2008 to almost 3m in 2018.

Relevant information about a patient and their medication should be transferred between care settings recommended the NHS watchdog.

Evidence shows up to 70% of patients suffer from an error or unintentional change to their medication when moved between different care settings.

Checking and listing a patients medicine should happen no longer than 24 hours after moving from one care setting to another; if discharged from hospital, for example, medication reconciliation should be carried out no longer than a week after their GP practice receives notification.

Chair of NICE Medicines Optimisation Committee, Dr Weeliat Chong, said medicines optimisation was not a new concept, with many strategies, models and concepts over the last decade for optimising a person’s medicines.

"Involving people in decisions about their medicines to enable them to get the best possible outcomes is a key component of the guideline."

The guidance was welcomed by Liz Butterfield, lead for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society England Pharmacy Board for Medicines Optimisation.

"Pharmacists are increasingly providing valuable cost and clinically effective care through services such as the NHS New Medicines Service. The unacceptable level of medicines waste, estimated at £300m every year, means all health practitioners need to think differently about how medicines are used in the NHS."