Cornwall LivingIssue #73
An evolving philosophy
We catch up with Graham Brack, proprietor of Reeds Pharmacy in Truro, who explains how pharmaceutical care is gradually changing.
On the topic of how pharmacies are changing, Graham tells us: “It’s less about fixing you when you’re ill and more about keeping you healthy in the first place.”
This, he explains, involves some key public health messages about healthy eating and drinking, and increasing exercise. “All these things are easier to achieve if you share your plans with others. It’s harder to give up smoking or watch your weight if others in your household aren’t doing the same. It’s not about competition; it’s a matter of mutual support and encouragement.”
But if you do need medicines, what can pharmacists do then?
“Money is tight in the NHS. As a pharmacist I spend a lot of time trying to save money for the NHS where I can, without compromising patient care. Anything we can do to reduce waste is a good thing.”
“Through the NHS Medicines Use Review – which is free – we help people use their medicines to best effect and discontinue medicines when there is no benefit.” But, you may be thinking, surely if there is no benefit our GP wouldn’t prescribe them! Graham continues: “There will have been a good reason to prescribe them when you first got them, but as time goes by the potential benefit falls – because we have less time left to realise it – and our susceptibility to adverse effects increases. That’s why we may decide that the balance has tipped in favour of not giving a medicine. It has nothing to do with saving money, and everything to do with giving people better treatment.”
Finally, he points out that “there’s plenty of evidence that people’s ability to keep to their medicine schedule is increased if we can reduce the number of tablets they need to take. Unfortunately, as we age, we may have a number of conditions needing treating, but we don’t want to finish up needing extra drugs to counter the side effects of others. It’s important that we treat you as a whole person and not try to treat your illness in isolation.”
To find out how a pharmacist could help you, why not pop into Reeds Pharmacy in Truro and speak with Graham and the team.
“Money is tight in the NHS. As a pharmacist I spend a lot of time trying to save money for the NHS where I can, without compromising patient care. Anything we can do to reduce waste is a good thing."