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RPS Scotland provides evidence to Scottish Parliament on diabetes prevention and drug-related deaths

The Society stressed that community pharmacists can play a vital role in the prevention of both type 2 diabetes and alcohol- and drug-related deaths in Scotland.

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The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland stressed that community pharmacists can play a vital role in the prevention of both type 2 diabetes and alcohol- and drug-related deaths in Scotland.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland has provided evidence for two Scottish parliamentary sessions held this week.

Alison Cockburn, a member of RPS Scotland, told the Health and Sport Committee on 19 December 2017 that community pharmacists are key in the identification of patients with pre-diabetic symptoms. Cockburn was speaking at an evidence session considering initiatives for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Pharmacists, Cockburn said, have the skills to undertake screening of at-risk patient groups and to advise on lifestyle changes. However, she also made the point that Scottish pharmacists’ current lack of access to GP records hinders this service.

RPS Scotland, with input from the Diabetes Special Interest Group and the Specialist Pharmacists in Public Health, submitted a written response to the committee prior to the debate, which may be read in full on the RPS website.

On 20 November the parliament debated alcohol- and drug-related deaths in Scotland. Labour MSP Monica Lennon proposed a motion that said parliament understood that Scotland’s rate of drug- and alcohol-related deaths were the highest in the UK, and that these deaths were preventable.

RPS Scotland submitted a written brief before the debate which, among other points, said that a national programme of delivery for alcohol brief interventions by community pharmacy should be considered. The reinstatement of an Injecting Equipment Provision (IEP) service in Glasgow Central Station is, the Society said, also a priority.

John McAnaw, chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board, observed the debate and commented that it “left no time for in-depth consideration of proposed solutions”.

“I will therefore write to the Minister for Public Health, Aileen Campbell MSP, in early 2018 to request a meeting to discuss the development of the forthcoming refresh in more detail to ensure pharmacy can play its full role in supporting the new strategy.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20204166

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