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New Medicine Service

  • England

NMS is an advanced service within the NHS community pharmacy contract to help improve patient’s adherence to their new medicine. The service consists of the pharmacist having two conversations with the patient (*or parents/carer) to discuss their newly prescribed medicine.

  1. Intervention: 7 to 14 days after engagement 
  2. Follow up: 14 to 21 days after intervention

Current Payments are based on

  • Number of prescription items dispensed monthly
  • NMS completed as % of 100% target level*

-       >20%                - all completed NMS paid  at £20
-       20% and above - all completed NMS paid at £25 
-       40% and above - all completed NMS paid at £26
-       60% and above - all completed NMS paid at £27
-       80% and above - all completed NMS paid at £28

* 100% target level = 0.5% of monthly items dispensed e.g.  for 8000 items = 40 completed NMS

This will be updated to 1% with new banding structure for payments - awaiting details to be published 

What is the role of an NMS?

30% to 50% of medicines are not taken as recommended and the 1st month of having a medicine prescribed is a critical period to support adherence. NMS is an opportunity for you and your patient to discuss their new medicine to:

  • Help the patient understand why they are taking each medicine and how they should take them
  • Identify any problems they may be having which affects them taking the medicine as directed e.g.
    • side effects
    • difficulty taking – formulations/timing
    • doesn’t want to take
  • Provide possible solutions to any problems or if appropriate refer back to the GP

Who can have an NMS?

From 1st September 2021 an NMS is for patients* with long term conditions, who have been prescribed a new medicine from the following conditions/therapy groups:

  1. Asthma and COPD
  2. Diabetes (Type 2)
  3. Hypertension
  4. Hypercholesterolaemia
  5. Osteoporosis
  6. Gout
  7. Glaucoma
  8. Epilepsy
  9. Parkinson’s disease
  10. Urinary incontinence/retention
  11. Heart failure
  12. Acute coronary syndromes
  13. Atrial fibrillation
  14. Long term risks of venous thromboembolism/embolism
  15. Stroke / transient ischemic attack
  16. Coronary heart disease 

*The service specification has also been update to provide flexibility where a patient is unable to provide informed consent  but could benefit from the service - allowing the service to be offered to support parents/guardians/carers of children and adults newly prescribed eligible medicines who could benefit from the service. 

More details on the changes to the service and national targets groups can be found on PSNC – NMS information.

Why offer NMS?

  • Develops customer loyalty
  • Improves health outcomes and usage of prescribed medicines
  • An additional revenue stream; a pharmacy dispensing an average 8000 items per month, if achieve 80% target can generate £10752 annually

How do I start?

  1. Pharmacists providing the service must be accredited to provide MURs and complete a ‘Self-Declaration’ form
  2. Notify NHS England of your intention to provide the service by completing the ‘Contractor Declaration Form’
  3. Download the relevant NMS SOP which covers in detail how to carry out an NMS (updated October 2018)
  4. Additional resources are available through the link under ‘see also’

How to offer a successful service

Talk to your local GPs:

  • Tell them you intend to offer the New Medicine Service:
    • Ask if there are any patient groups they want you to target
    • Agree how they would like referrals back to the practice to be made
    • Promote the service using posters and leaflets
    • Encourage your dispensary staff to identify patients prescribed new medicines in the therapy groups
    • Ensure you claim monthly for all NMS completed in the month.