The past, present and future of innovation in pharmacy

By Mohammed Hussain, 4 July 2018

 

Mohammed Hussain outside dressed in suit and red tie

As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday this year, I think of all the tremendous advancements that have taken place across pharmacy over the past seven decades.

In recent years the Summary Care Record (SCR) has been a vital addition to the world of pharmacy as it has revolutionised the care that pharmacy can provide.

The ability to have access to information about a patient’s medical record is a fantastic resource for pharmacists.

Speaking to colleagues up and down the country I have heard how well it has benefited them in their day-to-day jobs.

It is hard to imagine living without access to SCR nowadays, but there would be a time when patients would come to a pharmacy seeking medical advice but wouldn’t know about their allergies or what medication they are on.

With patients’ permission we can now view their SCR and see for ourselves this information, so we can provide effective medical advice and

Alongside the Summary Care Record, we also have the Electronic Prescription Service as a real technological boost for pharmacy in recent years.

Being able to send and receive prescriptions electronically has already had an impact on the NHS, saving millions of pounds for the system by meaning repeat prescriptions are sent directly to pharmacist, reducing the burden on primary care and community pharmacy and making it easier for patients too.

However, on a personal level, I think that my top innovation over the last 70 years would be the Nuffield Report in 1986 that set the wheels in motion for the all these changes to take place.

The report recognised that for many people pharmacists were the first port of call for when they were seeking healthcare advice and helped to change the way that pharmacists operated – giving them a greater focus on caring for patients and using technology to support that care.

I am looking forward to all the exciting innovations that are still yet to transform pharmacy in the next 30 years as the NHS gears up to its 100thbirthday.

I think that the work around genomics and personalised medicine will be the real big players in pharmacy in that period.

If we are able to find and combine medicines and drugs to suit an individual patient that has the potential to revolutionise the way that we treat conditions.

I think this means that we are in for a really exciting few years in pharmacy and I am looking forward to seeing what other innovations that we can’t even imagine at the moment will help to continue to transform pharmacy.