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Chronic pain focus of Scotland’s next public health campaign

By Scotland correspondent


Chronic pain is to be targeted in the next pharmacy public health campaign in Scotland, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is launching a package of resources to support pharmacists to deliver the campaign.

The chronic pain campaign is one of the national campaigns that community pharmacies provide under the Public Health Service (a core service in the community pharmacy contract). The campaign starts in February. It aims to empower patients with chronic pain by encouraging them to talk to their pharmacist about pain, access health information and join support groups.

The RPS has set up a webpage for its members with a number of chronic pain resources. These include a campaign booklet produced by Pain Association Scotland (which includes information from the RPS), and practice guidance on how pharmacists can talk to patients about pain and interpret patients' answers. A report on relieving persistent pain is also included.

Alex MacKinnon, RPS director for Scotland, said: "The RPS supports this campaign and believes that the resources will help pharmacists provide a better service to patients with chronic pain. The RPS also believes that pharmacists’ expert knowledge of medicines can provide real benefit to patients with chronic pain."

This was expanded upon by Annamarie McGregor, professional support pharmacist at RPS Scotland, who explained: "Pharmacists can advise on the best time to take medicines to fit in with patients’ lifestyle. Pharmacists can also advise on the potential and actual side effects of medicines and how to manage them. Working with patients and doctors, pharmacists can help decide whether medicines are helping or not and when additional medication may be required and when to stop taking them."

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11115589

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