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NICE Guideline: Medicines concordance and adherence: involving adults and carers in decisions about prescribed medicines (Draft for consultation)

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What is the background to this?
More and more people are being prescribed an increasing amount of medication. The NICE draft guideline on medicines concordance and adherence: involving adults and carers in decisions about prescribed medicines, states that the total drugs budget for the NHS in 2006/7 was approximately £10.6 billion of which approximately £7.6 billion was in primary care. It goes on to say that, over the last decade, the expenditure on primary care drugs has risen on average 4.8% in real terms each year.

To help ensure that the medicines prescribed are used as intended it is important for health care professionals to adopt a concordant approach when consulting with patients. Patients need to be involved in decisions about their treatment; including any medication they may be prescribed.

Summary
NICE has published this draft guidance for consultation highlighting the importance of adopting a concordant approach when dealing with patients. The guidance offers best practice advice on how to involve adults and their carers in decisions about prescribed medication. It provides useful guidance on:

  • Interventions to increase shared decision making about medicines
  • Assessment of adherence
  • Interventions to increase adherence to prescribed medication
  • Reviewing medicines

How does this relate to other publications or evidence?
The General Medical Council has recently issued guidance in which it states “You must work in partnership with your patients. You should discuss with them their condition and treatment options in a way they can understand, and respect their right to make decisions about their care”.1 The concordance guidelines issued by NICE will go some way to helping doctors and other health care professionals meet this requirement.

And in January 2007, Medicines Partnership at NPC Plus  published  “A competency framework for shared decision-making with patients: achieving concordance for taking medicines”,  This document sets out good practice for health and social care professionals in their consultations with patients about their healthcare and treatment. It describes the skills and behaviours that practitioners need to ensure that they listen effectively to patients.

So what?
When this guidance is published in its final form it will offer best practice advice to healthcare professionals on how to involve adults and their carers in decisions about prescribed medication.

Action
The anticipated publication date for the guidance is 28 January 2009. Check the NICE website when this important guidance is published for further information. This will then allow you to assess how it might affect your current practice.

Item details:
- Nice Guideline: Medicines concordance and adherence: involving adults and carers in decisions about prescribed medicines (Draft for consultation).

- A competency framework for shared decision-making with patients: achieving concordance for taking medicines. January 2007, the Medicines Partnership at NPC Plus

References

1.Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together, General Medical Council, 2008 (Guidelines in effect from 02/06/08)

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