If you are prescribed a new medicine for the first time for either an existing or newly-diagnosed health problem, you may be able to get extra help and advice about your medicine from your local pharmacist through a free scheme called The New Medicine Service (NMS), available across England.
The NMS is aimed at people who have been newly prescribed a medicine to thin the blood or to treat one of the following conditions:
- Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
Lots of people find they have problems when they start a new medicine. The NMS helps to sort these problems out from day one with the help of a pharmacist, so you stay well.
What does the service involve?
The NMS is a structured conversation between you and the pharmacist to discuss any concerns you are having with your medicines– for example, side effects or what to do if you miss a dose.
Do all pharmacies offer the service?
All community pharmacies in England with consultation rooms can provide the service.
How do I access the service?
If you have been newly prescribed a medicine for one of the conditions listed above, your GP may refer you into the service. Alternatively, when you pick up your medicine, your pharmacist may suggest the service to you. Or you can yourself ask the pharmacist about accessing the service.
Do I have to have attend my regular pharmacy
You might find it helpful to attend your regular pharmacy. However, you can access this service at any participating pharmacy.
What if I want advice but don’t fall into the four conditions?
There are other medicines advice services available at pharmacies. If you are taking two or more prescribed medicines for a long term medical condition, the Medicines Use Review is another free NHS service that can help you get maximum benefit from your medicines. Ask at your local pharmacy if you think you could benefit from this service.
I’ve been taking a medicine for the one of the long term conditions mentioned above for a few months and would like to get involved in the service. Can I still apply?
If you have not been enrolled for the NMS the first time your new medicines was supplied at your community pharmacy, you will be unable to sign up for the service if you have had the medicine supplied by another pharmacy. If you are ineligible for the NMS, you may qualify for a Medicines Use Review, if the pharmacist believes that is appropriate.
Can children take part in the NMS?
Children can be recruited into the service if they can give consent but this consent cannot be given by the parent or carer on behalf of the child.
Doesn’t my GP offer this service?
GPs offer a clinical review of medicines where they will have your whole medical history and will go through each of your medicines. This is not the same as the New Medicine Service or the Medicines Use Review.
Are pharmacists / pharmacy staff qualified to offer the NMS?
Pharmacists study at university for four years and then have a year ‘in practice’ before qualifying. They are the experts in the use of medicines for the treatment of disease. Participating pharmacists have to have specific competences to deliver this service. Pharmacy support staff are required to undertake approved training to work in a pharmacy and work under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.