RPS Scotland meets with Minister for Drugs Policy

RPS Scotland met with the Minister for Drugs Policy, Angela Constance MSP, on 1 September to discuss pharmacy’s role in reducing harm from drugs.

Key topics discussed were improving availability of naloxone and increasing access to long-acting buprenorphine. Other issues included preventing dependence on prescribed medicines through effective timely medication reviews by pharmacists and the possibility of recording sales of high risk over the counter medicines in a single shared patient record.

Laura Wilson, RPS Scotland Policy and Policy Lead, said: “We described how pharmacy teams in both community pharmacy and GP practices could administer long-acting buprenorphine. It is vital to achieve equity of access to this service across all Health Boards. Enabling pharmacists to be involved would provide patients with choice about where and when they access buprenorphine, making it more likely to retain people in treatment and consequently reduce drug deaths.”

Clare Morrison, RPS Director for Scotland, added: “We also made the case that naloxone should be available in every community pharmacy and in all clinical settings where people who use drugs attend. We pointed out that the current variation across Scotland in where naloxone is available causes confusion and access problems for patients, and asked for this to be addressed through a consideration of a national community pharmacy naloxone service.”

More information about the actions we are calling for is available in our Drug use policy