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Pharmacy Management organises the UK National Forum in collaboration with NHS England, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the College of Mental Health Pharmacy. It brings together delegates from all sectors of pharmacy practice across the UK and from the pharmaceutical industry to encourage interaction and joint working with a focus on medicines optimisation. Through satellite sessions and poster displays good work is disseminated widely, and the emphasis is on benefit for patients and quality of ideas rather than narrowly on academic rigour.
The 2013 Pharmacy Management National Forum held on 12 November heard Clare Howard (Deputy Chief Pharmacist, NHS England) tell delegates that after a year of great change the NHS was settling down but with a very different landscape. Challenges remain but for medicines optimisation the signs were good and progress was being made.
While the NHS Outcomes Framework 2013/2014 only mentions medicines once (section 5.4—reducing the incidence of medication errors causing serious harm) the optimal use of medicines underpins many of the other outcomes of importance to patients. Reducing emergency admissions, for example, requires that patients have the right medicines and use them properly.
It is estimated that a third to a half of medicines are not taken as intended, and wastage in primary care totals around £300 million annually. There is still significant …
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