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Pharmacists and clinical pharmacologists to collaborate following call for more consultant posts

Pharmacists and clinical pharmacologists are to look at how they can work together to improve patient care and increase the profile of medicines and the potential of medicines management to save NHS funds.

The move follows the call by the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) on 3 November 2014 for a doubling of the number of clinical pharmacology consultants in the UK over the next decade.

Leaders from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the BPS have agreed to meet to review collaborative working.

“We want to look at the opportunities for collaboration and how we can deliver more consistent and improved care around the use of medicines,” says RPS president Ash Soni.

The BPS wants to see the number of consultant posts increase from the current 77 to 150, although that is far short of the 440 recommended by the Royal College of Physicians.

It says that clinical pharmacology consultants have a crucial role to play as NHS budgets are squeezed. It highlights the success of a collaboration between clinical pharmacologists and community pharmacists in Wales that helped save the NHS £5.8m by reducing primary care prescribing costs for proton pump inhibitors, benzodiazepines and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The initiative cost £600,000 to set up but for each pound spent £10 was saved, according to the BPS.

The Welsh project is highlighted in the BPS campaign report ‘A prescription for the NHS: Recognising the value of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics’[1], which was released to coincide with its demand for more consultant posts.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20067079

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