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What are the most common medicines optimisation challenges?

By Tunde Kikiowo 10:15 pm 5/2/2023

It's no secret that pharmacists are experts in medication. Their job is to help patients take the proper medications at the prescribed dose, frequency and duration for optimal outcomes. However, many pharmacists face some common challenges daily when it comes to achieving these goals.

These include:

a) ensuring patient adherence,

b) managing side effects; e.g. in problematic polypharmacy

c) communicating with other healthcare providers about a

patient's care plan;

d) Obtaining hospital blood results or tests for patients

e) and dealing with difficult-to-manage/complex chronic Long Term Conditions conditions such as diabetes, and cardiovascular disease with intricate co-morbidities, e.g. mental health conditions like depression.

Optimising medicines can be tricky because people have different needs - what works for one person may not work for another! However, there are some general guidelines you can follow.

1. The first objective is a patient-centred plan which, as the name implies,

has the patient at the centre of every decision made regarding the medicines.

2. Set realistic goals for your consultation with your patient- don’t

try to achieve everything in a single consultation- it’s okay to fix

follow-up appointments if it’s problematic polypharmacy or

you are down titrating benzo or antidepressant etc.

3. Use tools like the MedOptimise® Clinical Systems template that

make your consultation easier, achieve more clinically effective

and achieve satisfactory outcomes for you and the patient.

4. Show empathy; patients want to know as a pharmacist, you

truly care, and they are not a tick box exercise.

5. Provide Safety netting and let them know you are there for


6. Document your decisions/notes properly and Follow up with

your patients.

The most common medicines optimisation challenges are a lack of

knowledge about the right messages to use, an inability to measure

success and unclear objectives. Book a demo today if you want help

with any of these issues! You can find out more by visiting our

Tunde Kikiowo works as the Frameworks Lead for MedOptimise. You

can reach him via

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