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Evidence should be our focus

We are now in a position of having to defend the value provided by all pharmacies — both in hospital and in community. Evidence will be our best defence. All our work should be underpinned by robust arguments and good data because, without these, we will never earn the respect that we all want for pharmacy. Pharmacy must evolve if it is to prosper — and better evidence will drive this.

By gathering and publishing evidence, we can show local and national commissioners that cuts and marginalisation of pharmacy are short sighted and that they would do better to invest in pharmacy to provide the integrated, patient-centred services we should be being fairly paid to deliver.

Politicians and other professions are increasingly recognising what pharmacy can do. We urgently need to build on this to demonstrate why involving community pharmacies improves patients’ experiences, clinical effectiveness, patient safety and brings overall health economic benefits to the NHS, thus providing reasons to invest in pharmacy.

Change is inevitable, but it must be based on clear evidence and robust assessments of the potential impacts on patients, society and wider communities. I want our ambitions for pharmacy to be underpinned by a robust evidence base so that we are an integral part of the primary care team. This will be my focus if I am elected to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board.

Tracey Thornley

Election candidate

English Pharmacy Board

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201024

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