In England, the NHS primary care system dispenses over 1 billion prescription items every year. As more people live longer with multiple long-term health conditions, the number of medicines they take often increases. This can create a significant burden for the person trying to manage multiple medicine regimes, and in some cases it can cause harm.
Polypharmacy is also one of the key themes of the World Health Organisation’s Global Patient Safety Challenge. They are aiming to reduce severe avoidable medication related harm by 50% globally over five years from 2017 to 2022.
Structured medication reviews (SMRs) are organised, professional frameworks which prompt discussion between health practitioner and patient, to help ratify problematic medicines and deliver a holistic approach to health care. Having patient-approved materials that can support shared decision-making is incredibly helpful in reducing the possibility of harm caused by polypharmacy.
Download these patient-approved Polypharmacy materials and use in your next Structured Medication Review