Governments across the world are universally facing financial challenges plus increased and ageing populations and health inequalities. The need for cost effective treatment of those who are ill and keeping them out of hospital is a common theme and, with medicines being the most frequent clinical intervention, optimising the value of the safe and effective use of those medicines as part of the system cost is increasingly a focus of attention rather than just reducing their cost.
Most pharmacy contracts focus on the supply of medicines rather than the outcomes; switching from a supply activity funded model to one which incentivises and remunerates the delivery of pharmaceutical care* will deliver better quality, efficiency and outcomes for patients and the system.
*Pharmaceutical care is defined as 'the pharmacist's contribution to the care of individuals in order to optimise medicines use and improve health outcomes' (PCNE 2013)
However, we must also step up investment in prevention and protection measures to stop people becoming ill. This includes educating the public, supporting ownership of population and individual health, and offering accessible, effective interventions on healthy lifestyles such as smoking, healthy diet, physical activity, healthy weight, sexual health, alcohol and harm reduction plus vaccination services.
Pharmacies, being an integral part of the community, are well placed to offer these services that improve the public's health and there is increasing evidence of the value of these interventions.
MH Associates can help governments and government bodies understand the opportunities and the potential solutions.