THE Scottish Government was committed to tackling polypharmacy, Health Secretary, Shona Robison told delegates at the SIMPATHY consortium conference, at Scotland House in Brussels today.
Scotland already had a good track record in developing approaches to the management of polypharmacy for patients with multimorbidities. “We have had national guidance since 2012 – it was introduced into the GP contract, and is part of our action plan Prescription for Excellence to make sure all patients with multiple morbidities get support with managing their medicines,” she said.
There was a multiprofessional approach to deliver this in Scotland, with “the doctor and pharmacist working in collaboration to deliver medication reviews in partnership with patients.”
The Scottish Government had invested nearly €18 million for pharmacist input to general practice to ensure that polypharmacy reviews could be delivered nationally, with the aim of optimising patient outcomes from medicines, minimising harm, and improving patient safety.
Ms Robison announced that the SIMPATHY consortium had launched a handbook and an economic tool which were intended to help influence change in polypharmacy, and lead to new strategies for the safer, more effective use of medicines for multi-morbidity in ageing.
Delivering a large-scale change required strong political and clinical leadership that had many challenges. “Changes are needed across health and care services to ensure that comprehensive, integrated, and patient-centred solutions are provided to address the current and future challenges of polypharmacy,” she said.