NHS Chief says high dose statins could be available in pharmacies

05 Sep 2019

High dose statins could be made directly available from community pharmacies, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester.

Mr Stevens announced a review into how the most powerful and effective forms of the drug could be provided by high street chemists.

He told delegates: “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.

“So the NHS will now work with the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and industry to see how we can best make this happen.

NPA Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said:

“It is heartening to hear Simon Stevens publicly recognise pharmacists’ clinical skills and that patients greatly value local pharmacies.

“It can only be a good thing that the man at the top of the NHS used such a high profile platform as this to praise community pharmacy and announce plans to improve access to medicines.

“This week we’ve had three pieces of good news from the NHS – announcements on blood pressure testing, urgent care and now access to vital medicines in pharmacy.  Although the underlying situation for pharmacies is extremely pressured, we should acknowledge positive developments like these and show our willingness to engage.”

NPA vice chair Andrew Lane and fellow NPA board member Jay Badenhorst were guest speakers at the expo: Andrew on long term conditions and Jay on digital integration.  Both emphasised that people access NHS care in community pharmacies more frequently than they do any other part of the health service.

The conference, which runs from 4 and 5 September 2019, is the biggest NHS-led event of the year. For more information go to www.england.nhs.uk/expo/