The Reporter
Issue no 487, 27 January 2003
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Watching what you take – new toolkit to monitor medication

 

A toolkit has been developed by Leeds researchers to ensure the four million people in the UK who take one or more prescribed medicines are receiving the right ones.

Four out of five people over the age of seventy-five are on more than one medicine and making sure they are getting the best combination of medication can be a complicated task. The ‘Room for review’ scheme provides healthcare professionals with a guide to conducting medication reviews. Launched by health minister David Lammy, the guide includes a toolkit developed by Professor Theo Raynor and his team in the school of healthcare studies. The toolkit is free and available through www.medicines-partnership.org. It includes a medication schedule, so patients can track what medication they’ve taken each day, and warnings on problem drug combinations.

The toolkit is founded on over five years’ research by the Leeds team into medication review with significant input from GP and visiting research fellow Dr Arnold Zermansky.

Dr Zermansky said: “This started years ago when I was a medical adviser to the health authority. We examined practice data and how different GPs were in their prescribing behaviour. The launch is particularly exciting for me – what started as an observation has become an accepted truth. It has huge implications for how pharmacists will work in the future.”

Clinical pharmacist Duncan Petty undertook medication reviews for trials of the toolkit. One patient participating in the trial said: “It was nice to sit with someone that you could talk to ... it was brilliant just to be able to ask him anything you wanted to.”

 
 


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