It is difficult to understand why medicines managers don’t understand and see the need for change. You may well have been successful in the past – even too successful. And you may have already made much of the necessary change. But it is perception that counts.
The government is hit from two sides:
- The economy needs a boost and some big players like the pharma industry are important to our economy and economic growth
- Medicines and technologies recommended by NICE appear to be slowly taken up by the NHS
This causes pressure from all sides to do something. And when government asks why – they are clearly told that ‘it is the fault of medicines managers.’
Who are they asking – the pharma industry – the consultants – the GPs – the managers?
And what is the answer. We are one of the slowest countries in Europe to take on new medicines; the process of entry is secretive and sometimes just unfair; stakeholders are not properly engaged and the answer is often negative telling clinicians what they can’t do. I have to say that some decisions even baffle me – they can put ridiculous barriers in the system. And I am fed up of being recognised as the one that saves money in the drug budget (and do all CCGs have a big saving put against their prescribing budget line?) and not the one that improved outcomes through the better use of medicines.
So medicines management has been left out of the plans – it does not appear to be a big function of the NHSCB and there may not be pharmacists in the LATs (apart from specialist commissioning). The political view is negative. There has been pressure to sort out NICE recommended drugs and for NICE to sort out formulary processes.
So the writing is on the wall
Time to evolve and change – do things differently – be known for different things – change perception.