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August 9 2017 A study into the New Medicines Service has shown patients adherence to their...

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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
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Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a lady pharmacist talking to patient cbAugust 9 2017

A study into the New Medicines Service has shown patients adherence to their medicine increases, resulting in improved health and reduced costs.

Adherence can increase as much as 10% which the researchers calculate could indicate £75.4 million short-term savings to the NHS, and £517.6 million long-term cost savings to the NHS. In addition, NMS could contribute significantly to quality of life with 179,500 QALYs (quality adjusted life years) gained.

Researchers from Manchester, Nottingham and London Universities conducted the economic evaluation into the NMS which forms part of the pharmacy contract in England. They compared adherence improvement and intervention costs with the effect of increased adherence on patient outcomes and healthcare costs for disease prescribing targeted by NMS (hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and anti-platelet regimen).

NMS was found to generate a mean of 0.05 more QALYs per patient, at a mean reduced cost of -£144. “This study suggests increased health gain with NMS over normal practice at a cost per QALY well below most accepted thresholds for technology implementation. This intervention could be extended to other groups of medicines,” concluded the researchers.

Non-adherence is estimated to cost NHS England over £930 million per year for just five diseases: asthma, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol/coronary heart disease, hypertension and schizophrenia.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Sue Sharpe, PSNC Chief Executive, said: “Pharmacists recognise that helping patients when they first receive a prescription for a new medicine can be pivotal to ensuring that they get the best possible outcomes.

“With the current pressures on the NHS it is vital to use community pharmacists to help support GPs and other parts of the health care system, using their expertise in medicines and the relationship they have with their patients.”

Sandra Gidley, Chair of RPS England, said: “This research provides a resounding endorsement of the benefits to patient care and to the NHS of the New Medicine Service. Better health outcomes combined with significant savings to the NHS budget is the holy grail of medicine optimisation.”

She called for the list of medicines covered by the service should to be extended to cover all long-term conditions including mental health issues. “We’d also like to see more patients referred into the service by primary or secondary care providers to ensure the service is used as widely as possible. All patients prescribed new medication should be encouraged to take part in the New Medicine Service by their prescriber.”

Links:
RA Elliott et al. ‘Cost Effectiveness of Support for People Starting a New Medication for a Long-Term Condition Through CommunityPharmacies: An Economic Evaluation of the New MedicineService (NMS) Compared with Normal Practice’. PharmacoEconomics. Published online Aug 3 2017. DOI 10.1007/s40273-017-0554-9        
PSNC statement           
RPS statement   

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