Pharmacy medicine checks to be examined in DH-backed research

Research funded by the DH will examine whether paying pharmacists to check patients' medicines represents good use of taxpayers' money.

Nottingham University and University College London researchers have been commissioned to evaluate the 'new medicine service' (NMS).

Pharmacies are paid up to £28 for assessing patients prescribed new medicines for long-term conditions as part of the NMS.

The research team will conduct a randomised controlled trial of the NMS and interview pharmacists, GPs and patients about the service.

The researchers said the study would examine the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the NMS. Around 20 pharmacies will be recruited to take part in the study.

‘About 500 patients will be randomised to receive either the NMS or to receive current
practice,’ the researchers said.

In the leg of the study in which patients receive 'current practice' care, ‘the patient will collect their new medicine with advice as necessary but will not receive the NMS intervention and follow up interviews’.

The study will run until summer 2013 and the researchers will report to the DH shortly after the study’s completion.

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