By Democrat reporter
A Health Board project to help guide patients on the medication they should be taking has been backed by leading Scottish charity, Epilepsy Scotland.
The £75,000 MAVIS project will see nationally-held digital prescription data from GP practices being shared with hospital doctors to help ensure patients are taking the right medications for them.
To make this possible, analysts in the Pharmacy Services team will analyse the data to estimate medication adherence, persistence and initiation, and explore medication histories.
Doctors will then have an instant picture of how well patients are taking their medication and will be able to support improved compliance with the drugs that patients are prescribed.
While the majority of people take the right medication at the right time, there are occasions where patients with long-term conditions – such as epilepsy – may not take their medication as prescribed.
Epilepsy Scotland has said the work being carried out to help guide patients on the medication they should be taking has “the potential to drive better standards of care and save lives.”
The risk for epilepsy patients of non-compliance is a negative impact on their health and also costs the NHS money.
A spokesperson for Epilepsy Scotland said: “With optimum medication, up to 70% of people with epilepsy could be seizure free. However, seizure freedom is currently only being achieved in around 50% of people living with epilepsy. Uncontrolled epilepsy has a significant impact on people’s lives, increases the risk of mortality and puts a strain on NHS services.
“We believe the adherence work being carried out by the team at NHSGGC could significantly improve the lives of those living with epilepsy. It will afford clinicians the opportunity to better understand what works for individuals and find optimum treatment for their patients. The data collected could also drive up new standards of care through research, helping us understand why so many individuals live with uncontrolled epilepsy.
“We are excited to see the development of this project and believe it has the potential to drive better standards of care and save lives.”
Dr Craig Heath is the clinical lead on the project, with NHSGGC’s Lead for Prescribing Resources, Dr Sean MacBride-Stewart, acting as Project Lead.
Sean said: “We are delighted to have received this funding award to develop and deliver this exciting innovation aimed at providing secondary care clinicians access to good quality medicines adherence data.
“We believe that this could make a real difference and will encourage clinicians and patients to work together to address issues relating to poor adherence.
“We expect this will help improve outcomes and optimise care, ensuring the best and most efficient use of medicines.”
The project is being funded by the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. The organisation’s aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed