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I took a break from Pharmacy 8-9 years back. After discussions with pharmacists and doing some shadowing, I have noticed that Pharmacies have much less staff, thereby putting more pressure on Pharmacists to do things that years back my dispenser would be doing. Despite of the fact that the Pharmacists role has become more clinical which is great, the spirit and moral of the entire Pharmacy team has completely gone. I heard many multiples put so much pressure on Pharmacists to reach targets in MUR’s that these targets are turning Pharmacies in to factories where everything is on a conveyor belt. The patient focus is there in theory and in the paper work but has it made any real difference to the patient? Have dispensing errors gone down? Has communication between professionals and patient improved so that there is less drug wastage and patients are taking only the medicines they need? I embrace the concept of Medicines Optimisation and look forward to applying it but are Pharmacists doing this? Do they have the time to do this or is it a matter of the postcode lottery, where if your local Pharmacy is not a busy one then you’ll get optimum counselling and quality time with the Pharmacist if you need it.
If my observations are true, what can be done about it? Should MUR’s and NMS’s be carried-out by the local Medicines Management team by employing a Pharmacist to visit Pharmacies and conduct them? Could there be a national campaign to encourage patients to seek advice about their medicines at a local pharmacist-led clinic? I think there should be a way to decrease the work-load on Pharmacies and Pharmacists allowing them in theory to do what they were doing years back yet still incorporate these innovative new counselling styles.
So what do you think?
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