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HDA UK MEDIA AND POLITICAL BULLETIN – 10 August 2017

MEDIA SUMMARY 

NMS could save NHS £500m in the long-term, academics predict
Chemist and Druggist, Annabell Collins, 9 August 2017

Chemist and Druggist, Pharmacy Business (Neil Trainis, 9 August 2017), and Dispensing Doctors (Charles Gladwin, 10 August 2017) further reported on the Manchester University study that showed that the New Medicines Service could save up to £517.6 million. The study showed that the short term savings would be £75.4 million, and overall 179,500 quality of life adjusted years (QALYs) would be gained by the new scheme. The regimen is supported by The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), who noted that “The New Medicine Service is provided by community pharmacists in pharmacies across the country.” The PSNC fully endorsed continued use of systems like the NMS to help patients, insisting that “it is vital to use community pharmacists to help support GPs”.

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New Medicines Service saves costs and improves quality of life
Dispensing Doctors Association, Charles Gladwin, 10 August 2017

The New Medicines Service offered as part of the community pharmacy contract in England saved the NHS potentially over £500 million in its first five years.

An economic evaluation of the service, part of the community pharmacy contract in England, indicates that pharmacy interventions to support patients prescribed new medicines improves medicines concordance. This has concomitant quality of life benefits and associated overall cost reductions.

Between its launch in 2011 and the end of August 2016, there have been 3.59 million NMS consultations, with over 820,000 in 2015-16. “From the results of this economic evaluation, this suggests £75.4 million short-term savings to the NHS, £517.6 million long-term cost savings to the NHS and 179,500 QALYs gained,” said the researchers.

The NMS is targeted at specific conditions – asthma/COPD, type 2 diabetes, hypertension or antiplatelet/anticoagulant treatment. Researchers based at Manchester, Nottingham and London Universities “simulated the effect of observed adherence increases on patient outcomes and NHS cost by designing economic models for each drug–disease pair study.”

They concluded: “Our study suggests that the NMS increased patient medicine adherence compared with normal practice, which translated into increased health gain at reduced overall cost.”

Sue Sharpe, PSNC Chief Executive, commented: “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.”

At the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Sandra Gidley, Chair of RPS England, has called for the list of medicines covered by the service to now be extended to cover all long-term conditions including mental health issues.

Previous University of Nottingham research estimated that non-adherence costs NHS England over £930 million per year for five diseases: asthma, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol/coronary heart disease, hypertension and schizophrenia.

“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,” said Ms Gidley.

New Medicine Service saves NHS £517.6 million in long term, claims report
Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis, 9 August 2017

The New Medicine Service (NMS) generates long-term savings of £517.6 million for the NHS and improves patients’ adherence to their medicines by 10% according to a study funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme.

The evaluation carried out by the universities of Manchester and Nottingham and University College London examined the impact of non-adherence for medicines treating conditions under the NMS such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

Researchers concluded the NMS “increased patient medicine adherence compared with normal practice which translated into increased health gain at reduced overall cost.” They also found the NMS generates short-term NHS cost savings of £75.4 million.

Over 3.5 million consultations were claimed on the NMS between its introduction to the community pharmacy contractual framework in October 2011 and the end of August 2016. Over 820,000 were claimed in 2015-16.

“This economic evaluation suggests that NMS will deliver better patient outcomes than normal practice at overall reduced costs to the NHS in the long term. In the short term, extra costs incurred by remunerating community pharmacists were absorbed by small reductions in other NHS contact-related costs,” the study said.

Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the PSNC, said: “The New Medicine Service is provided by community pharmacists in pharmacies across the country. 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.

“Many people, particularly as they get older, depend on medicines to keep them well, and we are committed to developing community pharmacy’s support for them.”

HDA UK MEDIA AND POLITICAL BULLETIN – 10 August 2017

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