Statins review to consider pharmacy provision

Statins review to consider pharmacy provision

September 4, 2019

NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens has today announced a review into the availability of statins from community pharmacies without a prescription.

It is understood the review will consider whether a recommendation should be made to manufacturers and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) that high dose statins should be moved from prescription-only status to being pharmacy (P) medicines. This would enable patients to obtain treatment to help reduce their cholesterol levels whilst still having regular contact with a highly qualified healthcare professional.

The announcement, made at the NHS Expo conference, is another step on the road to meeting the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan. Alongside the trialling of heart checks in pharmacies, it puts pharmacy firmly at the centre of plans to reduce the prevalence of heart disease and stroke.

Making the announcement, Simon Stevens said:

“Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who are greatly valued by patients. Since the NHS will be funding local chemists to undertake health checks, it makes sense to consider whether there are a broader range of medicines that patients could access conveniently and locally on the high street.”

Commenting on the announcement, PSNC Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said:

“It is good to hear the NHS Chief Executive speaking so positively about the skills of community pharmacists. PSNC believes absolutely that pharmacies could – and should – be at the forefront of efforts to help reduce heart disease. In addition to the development of a cardiovascular disease pilot in pharmacies, we are keen to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement to explore the potential for pharmacies to provide statins without the need for patients to obtain a prescription from their GP.”

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