Many people with serious health problems will require medication for the long-term treatment of their condition. As well as prescribing and supplying this medication, regular monitoring and treatment of any side effects and the impact on physical health is a priority.
Medicines management is the management of buying, prescribing, supplying and administering medicines.
As we set out in our medicines management policy, any proposed treatments should be explained to you, including any side effects or risks involved and alternatives available. You should be involved in and have an informed choice of therapy.
For a summary of our pharmacy and medicine management strategy, we have developed this infographic, which tells you about our pharmacy service and the key points of our medicine management approach.
If you would like to know more, ask a member of your care team or ask to speak to a pharmacist.
It’s worth remembering that:
- For most people with health problems, medicines have a part to play in the process of recovery.
- All medicines can have short or long-term side effects, so it’s essential to work out which ones suit each person best.
- Always ask questions about your medicines so that you can make better-informed choices.
- Carers supporting people with health problems should also have the opportunity to ask questions and get information about medicines.
When you have been prescribed medication, here are some of the questions you may want to ask:
- What does this medicine do?
- Why is it important that I take this medicine? Are there any other treatment options?
- How long will I need to take it?
- How and When should I take it?
- What should I be aware of when taking this medicine? (eg possible risks, side effects, taking medicines with certain foods/drinks/activities, what to do if I don’t feel well while I am taking it, how to store it safely etc)
- Where can I go for more information?
Of course, whilst medication definitely helps it may not be the whole solution. Relieving some symptoms with medication can make it easier for other kinds of help to work. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help you feel better about yourself and learn new ways of solving problems or coping with symptoms. Guided programmes of self-help may also be appropriate.
Non-drug treatments can be used alone or in combination with medication depending on your diagnosis. These may include:
- Sleep and anxiety management
- Guided self-help
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Mental health formulary
The Drug and Therapeutics Subcommittee, in consultation with clinicians, have developed and published a formulary of medicines used in mental health conditions. The formulary is based on the more detailed prescribing guidelines developed by the DTC. The formulary, in accordance with NICE Good Practice Guideline 1, Developing and updating local formularies is a means of:
· improving patient outcomes by optimising the use of medicines
· supporting the inclusion of patient factors in decision-making about medicines
· improving local care pathways
· improving collaboration between clinicians and commissioners
· improving quality by reducing inappropriate variations in clinical care
· improving quality through access to cost-effective medicines
· supporting the supply arrangements of medicines across a local health economy
· supporting financial management and expenditure on medicines across health communities
· supporting prescribers to follow guidance published by professional regulatory bodies in relation to medicines and prescribing.
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