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A wider scope of practice for pharmacists in reducing medication risks and errors is reflected in an update of the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s (FIP) 2020 publication, Medicines Use Review: A Toolkit for Pharmacists, released recently.

The updated resource, renamed Medication Review and Medicines Use Review: A Toolkit for Pharmacists, presents medicines use review (MUR) as a subtype of medication review. “MUR is a service exclusively designed to improve medication adherence, whereas medication review is more comprehensive and has more ambitious goals.

Medication review is a structured evaluation of a patient’s medication that results in various possible interventions, including those focusing on optimising medicines use, but also other interventions taken collaboratively with other healthcare professionals that will impact on clinical, humanistic and economic outcomes,” explained co-editor Dr Filipa Alves da Costa of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Portugal. “When undertaking an MUR, the pharmacist considers patients’ beliefs, preferences and concerns, and reaches agreement to maximise medication adherence.

Medication review encompasses this person-centred approach, but is also an opportunity for the healthcare team to evaluate a patient’s current medication in light of the clinical situation. This revised toolkit places the pharmacist firmly within this healthcare team, and calls on pharmacists to lead these services to improve patient safety and minimise medication harm,” Dr Alves da Costa added.

The toolkit gives examples of medication review practices around the world and gives guidance for implementing effective medication review services, including advice on addressing challenges in low-resource settings.