Pfizer launches another ‘medicine optimisation’ campaign

pharmafile | November 19, 2013 | News story | Medical Communications Pfizer, RPS, npa, treatments 

Patients would be more likely to follow prescriptions if they had better knowledge about the drugs they were taking according to Pfizer. 

The firm surveyed 1,500 people, and 74% of these blamed poor treatment adherence on not knowing enough about their medication. 

The poll also found that many people were unaware that information and advice about medicines is widely available in high street pharmacies. 

The questionnaire is part of an annual web and poster campaign – now in its second year – to promote treatment adherence in England and Wales.

Other results indicated that 42% of people have stopped taking a prescribed medicine without seeking advice from a medical professional, and 21% have shared prescribed drugs with friends or relatives.

Prof Rob Horne of University College London, who led the development of the survey, said: “The results support published data, confirming that patients do experience difficulties in following treatment recommendations and that the reasons for this are many and complex.”

He added: “This highlights the need for tailored information that addresses patients’ individual perceptual and practical barriers to medicines adherence and with a pharmacy on every high street, pharmacy teams are well placed to contribute to this.”

Posters for the campaign cite research by the University of York and the University of London, which estimates that unused and unwanted medication costs the NHS £300 million every year.

The ‘medicine optimisation’ project is backed by Pfizer in collaboration with trade group the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), lobby group Pharmacy Voice, professional body the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the NHS-affiliated Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC).

As part of the initiative, the NPA is hosting a special section on its ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ website providing information on pharmacy services available to the public).

NPA chief executive Mike Holden said: “The NPA is keen to support any activity that reminds the public of the medicines expertise that resides in community pharmacy and highlights the services we can provide.”

A report released by the World Health Organisation in 2003 indicated that adherence to long-term treatment in the developed world stands at 50% – figures for developing countries are thought to be significantly lower.

Hugh McCafferty

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