Wales cracks down on script drug dependence

NHS Wales should make better use of the expertise of pharmacists to support evidence-based prescribing, patient monitoring, and help with tapering and withdrawing from medication, the Petitions Committee of the Welsh Assembly recommends in its report on Prescription Drug Dependence and Withdrawal – recognition and support.

Greater recognition should be given to prescription drug dependence at a national level in both policy and strategy, the report says.

Among specialised services for prescribed drug dependence the report picks out Betsi Cadwaladr UHB’s Prescribed Medication Support Service. The service consists of therapists based within GP surgeries who work proactively with pharmacists and GPs to identify and contact client groups who may benefit from advice.

RPS Wales told the Petition Committee that a multidisciplinary approach should be taken to ensure patients receive the right support when withdrawing from medication. The expertise and clinical knowledge of pharmacists must be better utilised, it said.

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