Northern Irish pharmacies are to receive a payment of £1894 to conduct a review of people who receive monitored dosage systems (MDS).
The move comes as pharmacy leaders in the province seek to address the workload pressure created in the dispensing of MDS. It has been indicated that there is a need to plan for a potential second COVID-19 wave.
Community pharmacies in Northern Ireland worked incredibly hard during lockdown to make sure that patients continued to receive their medication in MDS. This activity included extending working hours and also the recruitment of additional pharmacy staff.
Assistant Director of Integrated Care and Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management Joe Brogan commented:
“The current non-commissioned provision of compliance aids and MDS has evolved over many years in response to patient and practitioner demand. There has been limited structured assessment of need, and yet a big proportion of additional service capacity is devoted to this activity.
“Given the challenges faced within the wider system, there is a need to urgently address the current and ongoing need for pharmacy adherence support particularly in order to plan for a potential second surge of COVID-19. I am, therefore, writing to advise you of the process for community pharmacy-led review and the associated remuneration which has been agreed with CPNI.
“The purpose of the community pharmacy-led review is to identify patients for whom MDS must continue as it is deemed vital in order for them to manage their medicines safely. The review tool has been developed in collaboration with CPNI and should be used to facilitate the review. It is based on guidance from Specialist Pharmacy Services. This review process should help to identify patients where use of MDS may not be necessary or where other options may be safely considered.”