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Ask About Your Medicines

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

“Do you know about and understand your medicine?” 

A new campaign launched today (26th) is asking patients if they know the answer to this question and if not they should ask their local pharmacist. 

The “Ask About Your Medicines” campaign, which was launched today at the new Victoria Hospital, is promoting the role of community pharmacists in supporting patients understand what the medication they are prescribed is for and deal with any questions patients may have. 

Patients are prescribed medication by their doctor for a reason but most patients have no understanding of what the medication does, the benefits or the negatives, or any side effects. 

This new campaign will encourage patients, the elderly in particular, to ask these questions of their local community pharmacist.  

Claire Langride is Consultant in Medicine for the Elderly at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital and chair of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Polypharmacy subgroup.  

She said:  “Up to 50% of prescribed drugs may not be taken as prescribed. There are many reasons for this and we are trying to encourage patients to ask some simple questions about their medicines. 

“Do I really need this drug treatment schedule?  What are the possible downsides?  Are there other non drug options for treatment? What happens if I don’t take these tablets? 

“It is important patients understand what they are taking and why and these are all questions that the patient’s local pharmacist can answer if the patient does not want to ask their doctor.” 

Pru Davies is both an NHS patient and a carer and over 20 years ago became a volunteer in mental health services.  

She said:   “Medicine prescribing is so important, particularly in mental health.  

“It is very important for me to take my medication as prescribed to keep me well in mind and body.  

“I have a good understanding of what the medications are and what they are for including any side-effects.  The benefits of each medication outweigh any negative reason for wishing to take them.  Remember the medication is prescribed for you by your doctor for a reason.  

“If you have any questions then ask either your GP or your pharmacist.”      

 Heather Harrison, Prescribing Advisor, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, added:  “We want patients to know about and understand their medicines and if they have any questions regarding their medicines then they should ask their community pharmacist, doctor or nurse.” 

Posters prompting the ‘Ask About Your Medicines’ message will be on display in GP surgeries and local community pharmacies.  The message will also be on dispensing bags. 

PRU’S STORY

Pru Davies will celebrate her 60th birthday next month and has been living in Glasgow since 1993.  

Pru was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 25 and spent the next 12 years in and out of psychiatric care in the south of England. 

After moving to Glasgow she volunteered in the mental health sector and maintains that is what has kept her well for the last 23 years. 

10 years ago Pru’s husband had a breakdown and she became a carer for him.  Pru has a foot in both camps as a patient and a carer.  

In 2014 she was asked to be a Lay Representative on the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) Area Drug and Therapeutic Committee (ADTC) Polypharmacy Prescribing Committee. Medicine prescribing is so important, particularly in mental health.  My colleagues at the Mental Health Network Greater Glasgow are very helpful to me as the unique conversation sessions held both in psychiatric wards and in the community always highlight medicine prescribing as the number one topic. 

ENDS 

For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]                  

Notes to Editors

Polypharmacy Prescribing is the prescribing of multi medicines.

Pic:  Some Pharmacy staff were on hand at the New Victoria Hospital handing out information to patients and visitors on the 'Ask About Your Medicines' campaign

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