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Pharmacists have a bigger role in medicine management, says health minister

25 February 2016

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Community pharmacists have a bigger role in monitoring, managing and ending patients’ medication, taking some of the work from GPs, Alistair Burt, community and social care minister, explained.

Speaking at an event by The King’s Fund yesterday, Burt said that if pharmacists are in GP surgeries then patients should “try to go straight through to the pharmacy. You don’t need to talk to the doctor about your medicines, you need to talk to the pharmacist.

“There is an implicit understanding, it seems to me, than in talking to pharmacist it is not merely to confirm what has already been said, it is to have a proper discussion about whether the course of medicines is the right thing to do, how it should continue etc. Otherwise, there’s no point in the pharmacist being there, as far as I can understand,” he added.

The minister is also “very interested” in minor injury services in pharmacies, stating that where they are working “they are really good”, but there is difficulty in nationally commissioning pharmacies to do this, “perhaps locally is the way to go”.

“I do see my part in the bargain here. If I’m asking this to be done, what can I do to help commission the extra services that need to be there? That’s not my job, really, but I think it ought to be, because I’m asking a lot of all of you. The least I can do is to throw myself into the commissioning side,” he told the audience.

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