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Medicine Usage

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will launch an inquiry into how GPs and pharmacists may be better able to advise and counsel patients on how to use medicines more appropriately. [112454]

[holding answer 15 May 2003]: General practitioners and pharmacists are highly skilled health professionals with access to a range of sources of advice about the use of medicines. They are therefore well placed to advise and counsel patients.Considerable progress is already being made on providing patients with more advice and counselling about their medicines. "Pharmacy in the Future—Implementing the NHS Plan", launched in September 2000, sets out a programme of reform through which pharmacists will play a full part in delivering better services to patients. The aim is for all primary care trusts to have schemes in place so that people get more help from pharmacists in using their medicines by 2004. Working closely with GPs and giving patients more information about the effective use of medicines is central to this progress.