This week, I had the pleasure of attending the NAPC conference in Birmingham, and one of the workshop sessions I found most insightful was the one on medicines usage optimization. The session featured pharmacists Peter Rowe and Ash Soni, and the key message they shared was one of cost effective prescribing, rather than simply reduced prescribing across the board.
The most expensive drug is the drug not taken.
-Ash Soni, Pharmacist, NHS Future Forum
The key is to view medicines not as a cost, but as a cost-saving measure. The right medicine at the right time for the right outcome can not only reduce costly interventions and hospital admissions, it can serve as a focal point for care pathway redesign, which can deliver further savings.
Other possible methods to optimize prescribing include making appropriate drug choices and managing repeat prescribing, but I think the most critical shift here needs to be in perspective. Medicines are prevention tools, not expenses, and when you get the right health outcome, the rest will follow.
I’ve been rather inconsistent this week. It’s been busy here at the office, and it’s difficult to find the motivation to walk rather than take the bus/tube when you leave work and it’s dark! Two highs for the week include Monday, 9952 (due to external meetings) and Tuesday, 12508 (my day at the NAPC). The rest of the days averaged 4-5k steps, as that tends to be the base number of steps it takes me to get from home to 2020health and back again.