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What is the NHS New Medicine Service and how does it work?

As part of the NHS 'New Medicine Service', we offer a free telephone appointment with one of our pharmacists to help you understand your condition and get the most out of your new medicine.

This service is available for our patients who have received an NHS prescription medicine for the first time, which was dispensed by us, for any of the following conditions:

  • asthma
  • lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • conditions where you take a medicine to control the way your blood clots.

Unfortunately the service is not available if you have already had the new medicine dispensed by another pharmacy, or by the hospital. Only the first pharmacy to dispense it can offer this service.

How does the service work?

Step 1 You will be invited to a telephone appointment with a pharmacist between 7 and 14 days after you first receive your new medicine. You will be able to choose a day and time that suits you.

  • This is a confidential conversation over the telephone with a UK registered pharmacist. It should only take around 10 minutes of your time
  • The pharmacist will ask you questions about how you are getting on with your new medicine, find out if you are having any problems and give you any information and support you need. You may have concerns or questions and you can ask anything at all about your new medicine and how it works.

Step 2 The pharmacist will arrange a follow-up discussion with you, for 14 to 21 days after the first appointment. You will be able to talk about how things are going with your medicine and ask for more advice if you need it.

How will it help me?

It's estimated that between 30% and 50% of prescribed medicines are not taken in the right way - often, from the time they're started, and because patients don't have a full understanding of how the medicines work or why they're taking them. This means that a lot of medicines are wasted or are not as effective as they could be.

This service will:

  • help you to find out more about the new medicine you are taking
  • help to sort out any problems you are having with your new medicine
  • give you a chance to ask questions about your medicine and discuss any concerns
  • help to improve the effectiveness of your new medicine, for example, there may be an easier or better way to take it
  • help you to make your own decisions about managing your condition
  • help you to improve your health, which could lead to fewer GP and hospital visits.

This service will help provide better value for you and the NHS by making sure that your medicines are right for you.

How can you prepare for your discussions with the pharmacist?

  • Read the leaflet that comes with your new medicine
  • Make a note of questions you want to ask
  • Make a note of any concerns about your new medicine that you may want to discuss with the pharmacist
  • Have your new medicine in front of you for the telephone call with the pharmacist.

What happens after the two discussions?

  • Everything may be okay with your new medicine and nothing else will need to happen
  • If you have had problems with the medicine, you may agree with the pharmacist on some changes you could make to resolve them
  • The pharmacist may recommend that your doctor reviews your new medicine. If this is needed, the pharmacist will send a note to your doctor explaining the issues raised. You can have a copy of this note.

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