New Medicine Services (NMS)
The New Medicine Service (NMS) was the fourth Advanced Service to be added to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework; 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.
Since the introduction of the NMS in October 2011, more than 90% of community pharmacies in England have provided it to their patients.
To inform the longer-term commissioning decision, the Department of Health (DH) commissioned researchers at the University of Nottingham to lead an academic evaluation of the service, investigating both the clinical and economic benefits of it. The findings from the evaluation were published in August 2014 and were overwhelmingly positive, with the researchers concluding that as the NMS delivered better patient outcomes for a reduced cost to the NHS, it should be continued. This was the basis for NHS England’s firm decision to continue commissioning the service.
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; and
- support the development of outcome and/or quality measures for community pharmacy.