An economic evaluation looking at the cost-effectiveness of the new medicine service (NMS) has found that the service increased patient medicine adherence by 10 per cent compared with normal practice, which translated into increased health gain at reduced overall cost.

The authors, from University College London and the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham, estimated that the NMS offers the NHS short-term savings of £75.4 million and long-term savings of £517.6 million.

They also suggest that consideration should be given to extending the NMS in other potentially beneficial therapeutic areas where there is significantly poor adherence.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Sue Sharpe, PSNC chief executive, said: “Pharmacists recognise that helping patients when they first receive a prescription for a new medicine can be pivotal to ensuring that they get the best possible outcomes. With the current pressures on the NHS it is vital to use community pharmacists to help support GPs and other parts of the health care system, using their expertise in medicines and the relationship they have with their patients.”

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society said the research provides a “resounding endorsement” of the service and has called for the NMS to be extended to other medicines, including in the area of mental health.

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