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Being a nurse within the pharmaceutical context

Nicola Davies looks at the role of nurses in prescribing medicines, and how it will continue to develop

Nurses are increasingly fulfilling important and value-adding roles in the nexus between pharmaceuticals and patient outcomes. Dr Nicola Davies examines the three broad pharmaceutical contexts where nurses are offering the greatest value: the community pharmacy (retail), manufacturing, and prescribing (Figure 1).

Community pharmacy needs nurses’ skills and knowledge

The pharmacy, whether part of a chain or an independent main street retailer, is the outlet from which most people buy or collect their medicines. The pharmacy is also often patients’ first port of call when seeking advice about minor ailments that can be treated using over-the-counter preparations. The public health system in the UK is under increasing pressure and so it has been necessary for pharmacies to begin extending their services to include primary health care. This complements the ten-year plan, which the NHS launched in January 2019, and where pharmacies are considered integral component of Primary Care Networks intended to improve ‘out-of-hospital’ care.

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