The Medicines Use Review and Adherence Support Service

The Medicines Use Review and Adherence Support Service (MUR) is a new programme within the recently initiated National Framework for Pharmacists’ Services. The programme is delivered by New Zealand community pharmacists and funded by the government. The service is available to vulnerable or at-risk people living independently in the community, who could benefit from receiving more help with their medicines.

The objectives of this new service are to:

˙Promote the safe and effective use of medicines as part of the overall management of patients in the community

˙Improve patients adherence to prescribed medicines regimens

˙Improve patients knowledge of medicines and provide support for better self-management of medicines

˙Reduce the number of actual and potential medication problems that may lead to treatment failure and/or acute hospital admission

˙Work with other members of the health care team to improve patients’ health and well-being.

The service enables pharmacists to find out what patients actually do with their medicines at home and to identify any medicine use and adherence related problems and concerns. MUR reviews focus on patients’ knowledge of their medicines and any adherence issues. They are not clinical reviews.

The service will uncover such issues as self-adjustment by patients of prescribed medicine doses, the use of complementary medicines, duplication resulting from taking an over-the-counter medicine in addition to a similar prescribed medicine or practical difficulties using dosage forms. It will also identify medicine side effects or untreated symptoms that patients haven’t thought to tell their doctors about.

To ensure a consistently high quality service by pharmacists across the country, a robust accreditation process has been established by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. Only accredited pharmacists are qualified to provide the Medicines Use Review service.

Each time a review has been complete, the pharmacist will send the patient’s doctor a report identifying any medicine use and adherence problems, which problems have been addressed by the pharmacist and which problems may need the doctor’s consideration.

June 2008.