Medicine use reviews have been branded "a wasteful subsidy to pharmacists" by the Tax Payers' Alliance, which describes itself as an independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes.
The Alliance reports that nine multiple pharmacies were paid £43.4 million during 2011 for delivering Medicines Use Reviews, despite the service being slammed by GPs as a "waste of time and money" and by pharmacists as more about targets than patient benefit. Boots alone is quoted as receiving £20.8m for delivering 743,000 MURs during 2011.
However, PSNC has refuted the TPA's claims that MURs are ineffective. PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said there was "a substantial body of research [that] shows that Medicines Use Reviews are clinically effective and offer good value to the NHS."
"If the NHS is to save money on its spiralling medicines bill, we need more, not fewer of these good value pharmacy services provided at the heart of the community."
It also adds that the TPA research does not take into account the new targeted MURs, which were introduced in 2011. According to PSNC, hospitals are keen to promote the new targeted service, as well as the New Medicine Service (NMS).