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Welsh parties support pharmacy’s medicines role, says RPS

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Welsh parties support pharmacy’s medicines role, says RPS

Members of the Welsh parliament “clearly understood and supported the importance of pharmacy leadership” on medicines sustainability when the issue was discussed at a recent Senedd meeting, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's director for Wales Elen Jones has said. 

RPS officials met with members of all political parties in the Senedd (MSs) at the meeting, which was co-hosted by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the professional leadership body. Ms Jones reported that MSs were receptive to the ideas outlined through RPS policy.

Three “key themes” emerged from the talks, said the RPS. These included educating the public to influence behaviour change, such as only ordering the medicines they need, avoiding stockpiling drugs and talking to a clinician about any change in their circumstances.

The discussion also examined the role of prescribing pharmacists in reducing the supply of medicines that are not needed through “appropriate de-prescribing” and switching patients to low-carbon alternatives.

A funded recycling scheme through community pharmacies was also explored in an attempt to tackle waste and make the public aware of the detrimental impact disposing medicines in the sink or down the toilet has on the environment. According to the RPS, about 25 per cent of NHS carbon emissions come from medicines. 

“It was fantastic to see how interested and engaged the politicians were around these important issues,” Ms Jones said.

“By the end of our conversations, they all clearly understood and supported the importance of pharmacy leadership in this area, as well as the need for the link between climate change and medicines to be better understood by patients.”

The meeting also heard from Nicholas Reed and Meryl Davies, antimicrobial pharmacists who have worked with the All Wales Prescribing Advisory Group which advises on strategic developments in the prescribing of medicines and their safe and effective use in Wales.

The pair told MSs that part of the fight against the climate crisis and antimicrobial resistance was preventing the inappropriate disposal of antibiotics.

Ms Jones said the RPS will follow up their talks with MSs and hold “more detailed conversations around these crucial issues".

Pictured left to right are Meryl Davies, Elen Jones, MS Jack Sargeant and Nicholas Reed. 

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