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Be careful how you promote the NMS to patients

I am writing to urge community pharmacists to be mindful of how they promote the new medicine service (NMS).

I was a community pharmacist for seven years but am now a full-time hospital pharmacist in an A&E department. I recently saw an older patient who was admitted to A&E after keeling over at a friend’s funeral. Although I suspect stress was the ultimate cause of the collapse, his blood pressure was approximately 180/90mmHg. He was not taking any regular medicines, but I asked if he had been prescribed anything for his blood pressure. He told me that his GP had recently prescribed “something to do with calcium” (amlodipine) but that he would not take it. I probed as to why he was intentionally non-adherent.

First, he had read the patient information leaflet and had concerns (which I later addressed), but the coup de grâce was when he was told at his local pharmacy that the pharmacist wanted to ring him in a week to make sure he was OK after starting this new medicine. As such, he had misinterpreted this as meaning that the medicine was in some way dangerous.

Pharmacists need to take into consideration how they conduct and promote the NMS in case the patient is harmed inadvertedly.

Jessica di Gesso

Norwich, Norfolk

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20202113

Readers' comments (1)

  • When I do an NMS, I sit down with the patient at the engagement stage and explain exactly what the medicine does, explain, e.g. why they should avoid Grapefruit and certain other medicines, what side-effects to expect and what to do about them if they occur. Patients are then more than happy to accept a brief intervention at 7 days and a similarly brief follow-up at 21 days.
    Andrew Paxton

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