Reluctant uptake of pharmacists’ medicine use reviews

Pharmacists’ medicines use reviews (MURs) are slowly catching on despite widespread unpopularity with GPs, a study of the service has found.

Accredited pharmacists have been paid to review the way patients take their medicines since the new pharmacy contract came in in 2005.

Pharmacies can now claim for 400 MURs a year. But the GPC has condemned the reviews as a 'duplication' of effort.

During 2005/6, 152,854 reviews were carried out in England and Wales, out of a possible two million. Only 6.8 per cent of the budget was spent, the study, led by Alison Blenkinsopp, professor of the practice of pharmacy at Keele University.

Two-thirds of the way into 2006/7, pharmacists in England had carried out 319,902 reviews, 8 per cent of the total allowed.

GPs have been sharply critical of the new service and they have slated the pharmacists' reports back to the practice.

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