The New Medicine Service (NMS) was the fourth Advanced Service to be added to the NHS community pharmacy contract; it commenced on 1st October 2011.
The service provides support for people with long-term conditions newly prescribed a medicine to help improve medicines adherence; it is initially focused on particular patient groups and conditions. The service was supported by a maximum investment of £55 million per annum in 2011/12 and 2012/13.
The NMS was implemented as a time-limited service commissioned until March 2013; it would continue beyond this time if all parties agreed that the service had provided demonstrable value to the NHS.
In March 2013 NHS England agreed to extend the service for a further six months. This means that community pharmacies can continue to recruit new patients to the service up until September 30th 2013 and will receive payment for these patients even where the service is completed in October or November 2013. The service specification remains the same and a maximum of £20 million in funding will be available for it during the six-month period.
No decision has been made about the future of the service beyond September 2013. This will be an NHS England decision that will take into account any emerging data from the Department of Health (DH) commissioned evaluation of the service. The evaluation is currently due to report in September, but the DH has said it may need to be extended to ensure that enough patients are recruited to it – the DH is considering this at the moment.
PSNC and NHS Employers envisaged that the successful implementation of NMS would:
- improve patient adherence which will generally lead to better health outcomes
- increase patient engagement with their condition and medicines, supporting patients in making decisions about their treatment and self-management
- reduce medicines wastage
- reduce hospital admissions due to adverse events from medicines
- lead to increased Yellow Card reporting of adverse reactions to medicines by pharmacists and patients, thereby supporting improved pharmacovigilance
- receive positive assessment from patients
- improve the evidence base on the effectiveness of the service
- support the development of outcome and/or quality measures for community pharmacy.
The legal basis for the service is provided by the Secretary of State Directions. The service specification provides a 'plain English' version of the Directions and the official guidance from PSNC and NHS Employers provides essential information on the service for pharmacy contractors, their staff and PCTs.
If pharmacy contractors and their staff have questions that are not answered by the above guidance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org