Medicines Use Review - Northern Ireland

Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) were introduced in Northern Ireland in April 2013. The principles and aims of the service mirror the existing advanced service in England and Wales, although the service specification differs in certain respects.

Northern Ireland pharmacists are allowed to conduct an initial MUR and a follow-up MUR if one is deemed necessary. Each pharmacy can complete MURs for up to 120 patients. This assumes that 50% of those patients may require a follow up MUR, making potentially 180 MURs in total.

The patient must be taking multiple medicines and one of these must be for a respiratory condition (eg asthma or COPD).

What is the purpose of an MUR?

An MUR involves carrying out a structured review of a patient's medicine to help them understand why they are taking a medicine, how they should take it and to talk through any side effects they may be experiencing.

The review should help patients to:

  • understand their therapy
  • identify any problems or side effects they are experiencing
  • find possible solutions to any problems

HSC - download targeted MUR specification

Who should have an MUR?

An MUR is ideal for patients on multiple medicines, particularly those receiving medicines for long term conditions. The NI MUR service will target patients in a number of clinical areas. The first clinical area is respiratory. Further clinical areas will be added in the future.

HSC – Guidance for the MUR service

Why offer MURs?

  • Develop customer loyalty - the advice and support you provide to a patient will help to build a really strong customer relationship.
  • Create an additional revenue stream for your pharmacy - current payment is £28 per MUR and £9 per follow-up MUR where this is deemed necessary
  • If you carry out the maximum 120 MURs per year, you could earn up to £3900 per year from MURs, assuming 50% of patients being followed up.
  • Help to improve patient health outcomes and the cost effectiveness of prescribed medicines.

How do I start?

  1. The NI MUR services does not require  accreditation to provide MURs. However NI pharmacists providing this service must ensure that they have achieved agreed competencies. Further guidance is available from the HSC
  2. Download the Medicine Use Review Contract  -  Complete the contract and return to the local Integrated Care Office
  3. Talk to your local GPs
    Tell them you intend to offer MURs.
    Ask how they want to receive patient MUR forms.
  4. Promote the service using posters and leaflets.
  5. Encourage your counter staff to talk to customers and recommend the service.
  6. Document any recommendations you have made to resolve medicine use issues.
  7. The patient should receive a copy of their MUR form.

Download guidance for conducting MURs

Download Community Pharmacy Medicines Use Review Service letter