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NICE round up: Using medicines in a safe and effective way to ensure the best possible outcomes

Medicines are recognised as preventions, treatment and a management form for illnesses and long-term conditions.

However, NICE has identified that there is an estimation of between 30% and 50% of prescribed medicines not being taken as they are intended to be for long term conditions.

With an increasing population and increasing life expectancy there are more people living with long-term conditions and therefore the management of this is important.

Those working in primary care should offer patients the opportunity to be involved in making decisions about their medicines.

While doing this they should take the opportunity to find out information that can ensure they are using the medication properly. For example, finding out about the person's values and preferences can show how they want to manage their condition and if they are already using the medication sufficiently.

However, if they are not taking their medication as intended it gives the professional the opportunity to advise the patient how to consume it accurately. 

Healthcare professionals should also offer the patients more than one consultation when necessary to ensure they are making an informed decision about their medication.

The guideline also recommends that self-management plans for patients with long-term conditions with involve using medicine can ensure they are taking their medication correctly.

For the full guidance visit www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng5