Thousands of pharmacies are displaying ‘Let’s Talk Medicines Safety’ posters for ‘Ask Your Pharmacist Week’, which kicks off today. They are encouraging patients to have full and frank conversations about safe and effective medicines use.
The initiative is part of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) response to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ambitious challenge of reducing medicines related harm by 50% globally. The WHO has identified that effective communication between patients and healthcare professionals is an essential element of medicines safety.
NPA Head of Communications, Stephen Fishwick, said:
“As usual, Ask your Pharmacist Week is an opportunity for pharmacies to promote awareness of the services they offer and to highlight the expert advice available in pharmacies. This year’s campaign has a particular focus on improving safe medicines use by encouraging dialogue and empowering patients.”
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Co-op, which is taking part in the week’s activities, said:
“It’s important that patients feel able to ask pharmacists anything at all about their medicines, health and wellbeing. In particular, we want to promote joint decision-making with patients and carers playing a more active role in their medication management and comfortable to raise any concerns they may have. As well as the main aim of the campaign – improving safe medicines use amongst our patients – there are other benefits from taking part. One of the outcomes we hope to see by taking part in ‘Ask Your Pharmacist Week’ is an increased number of patients making good use of MURs and NMS in our pharmacies.”
Campaign materials, including digital assets, can now be downloaded from www.npa.co.uk/ayp2018. On social media, the hashtags #talkmeds and #askyourpharmacist will be in use throughout the week.