New Medicine

The New Medicine Service (NMS) is a free NHS service that can help you understand your condition and get the most out of your new medicine.

Who is the service for?
The service is for people who have received their first prescription for a medicine to treat any of the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Lung conditions, such as COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Conditions where you take a medicine to control the way your blood clots (anticoagulants or antiplatelet medication)

How will the service help me?
Between 30 and 50 per cent of prescribed medicines are not taken as recommended. This means that a lot of medicines are wasted or are not as effective as they could be.

new medicine serviceThe service will:

  • Help you to find out more about the new medicine you are taking.
  • Help to sort out any problems you are having with your new medicine.
  • Give you a chance to ask questions about your medicine and discuss any concerns.
  • Help to improve the effectiveness of your new medicine, for example, there may be an easier way to take it.
  • Help you to make your own decisions about managing your condition.
  • Help you to improve your health, which could lead to fewer GP and hospital visits.

Some patients think they do not require this service because they’ve just spoken to their GP about it, but there may be questions you think of after you start taking your medicine. This can especially be the case because it may take time before you feel the effects. For example, for some, it is perfectly normal to experience side effects as your body gets used to the new medicine so it’s important to know as much as possible so you know what to expect.

This is where the New Medicine Service can help. Our pharmacists are experts in medicines and can offer you support and advice, answer any questions and concerns, making sure that your medicines are right for you. That will then help not only you, but the NHS too, in preventing unnecessary waste.

How does the service work?
When you are given your new medicine you will be asked if you want to sign up to the service, which will be provided in three parts.

Step 1 – Signing up for the New Medicine Service

  • Your pharmacist will give you information about your new medicine. You will need to sign a consent form to allow your pharmacy to share your information with other parts of the NHS*

*Why do I need to sign a consent form?

You will be asked to give your consent for your pharmacist to share information from your NMS discussions with:

  • Your GP, if necessary (for example if they need to change your medicine because you are having a problem with it).
  • Your Local Commissioning Group (LCG) to make sure the service is being provided properly by your pharmacist.
  • The NHS Business Services Authority, to make sure your pharmacy is being correctly paid by the NHS for the service they give you.

If you do not give your consent you will not be able to use the service. However, your pharmacist will still give you advice about your medicines when you first receive your new medicine.

Step 2 – Your first consultation

  • You will be given a choice as to have a telephone conversation or pop in to speak with the pharmacist privately in our designated consultation room, between 7 and 14 days after you first receive your medicine. You will be able to choose a time that suits you.
  • The pharmacist will ask you questions about how you are getting on with your new medicine, find out if you are having any problems and give you any information and support you need. You may have concerns or questions that you want to ask. You can ask anything at all about your new medicine

Step 3 – Your follow-up consultation

  • This appointment can again be either face-to-face or over the phone 14 to 21 days after step 2.
  • We’ll check that everything is going smoothly and you’re happy with your medicine.
  • You will have another chance to ask any other questions you may have about your new medicine.

What happens afterwards?

Everything may be okay with your new medicine and nothing else will need to happen

If you have had problems with the medicine, you may want agree with your pharmacist to change the way you take it.

Your pharmacist may recommend that your doctor reviews your new medicine. If this is needed your pharmacist will send a not to your doctor explaining the issue raised. You can have a copy of this note.

Does this service cost anything?
No, it is free