Medicines safety

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Medicines safety i.e. the safer use of medicines, underpins our vision of pharmacists as guardians of patient safety and welfare, maximising the benefits of medicines and minimising the risks caused by adverse effects in all settings. It is a significant part of our role and continuing mission to present pharmacists to other healthcare professionals and the public as the 'experts in medicines and their use'.

Pharmacists play a significant role in improving medicines adherence and health literacy. On daily basis pharmacists undertake clinical checks of prescriptions to confirm safe and appropriate prescribing and identify potential or actual side effects. Attention needs to be given to information on patient medication at the point of transfer of care, and the use of medicines in high risk settings such as care homes and hospitals. Pharmacists need to be supported to be able to spend more time with their patients helping them to understand their medicines so they can be taken correctly to obtain the full benefit and be aware of possible side effects and what to do if theses occur. Medicines optimisation and pharmaceutical care are key agendas for the pharmacy profession

In order to develop this vision we identify and promote best practice where pharmacists are making significant improvements in medicines safety. We develop tools, standards and guidance that support pharmacists in their work to improve the safe use of medicines and assist them in helping patients to get the best from their medicines. Pharmacists will continue to support doctors and other prescribers on this agenda. Through the Local Practice Forums we identify and share best practice and encourage local work to promote and develop the medicines safety role of pharmacists.

We will, through pharmacists, make Britain a safer place to take medicines.