What would pharmacy professionals like to see in a resource about M.E.?

Pharmacy resources on a bookshelfI’ve been receiving some great feedback on how pharmacy teams have helped people with M.E. on my blog post Please let me know how your pharmacy helps, which is encouraging.

There’s very little information available for pharmacy professionals about M.E., so I think there’s a need for a resource to provide evidence-based information. I’m hoping it will also help patients to talk to their pharmacy team about their M.E. and the sort of support that they need.

So do you even have any patients with M.E.? The answer to that question is yes, you probably do, even if you’re not aware of it! Although there is no official record of M.E. cases, it’s estimated that there are approximately 250,000 adults and children with the illness in the UK[1].

Even if a patient isn’t on any medication for M.E. symptom management, you might come across someone with M.E., perhaps when you are carrying out MURs and the NMS. If you’re a person with M.E. wondering what those things are, I have an article about pharmacy services coming up!

I’m working with a national M.E. charity, Action for M.E., as Volunteer Pharmacist, providing information about pharmacy services, writing health and pharmacy related articles and putting together a resource for pharmacy professionals about M.E. For now, to read more about M.E., please visit Action for M.E.’s Get Informed pages.

The resource will be used to create a booklet and we would also like to publish CPD articles and give talks to pharmacy professionals to raise awareness of M.E. and of what you can do to help your patients living with the illness.

Questions from pharmacy professionals so far include:

  • How does M.E. impact on quality of life?
  • Which systems of the body does M.E. affect?

If you’d like to leave suggestions for the resource for pharmacy professionals, you can leave me a comment below or contact me. We’re also looking for funding ideas for the project, so please let me know if you have any. Please also share this article so that I can also collect some examples from others. If you’re a patient with M.E., you can leave a suggestion on the article What would people with M.E. like to see in a resource for pharmacy professionals?

If those of you that have come across patients with M.E. have any examples of the pharmaceutical care you have given, or ways that your pharmacy team have helped a patient with M.E. in any way, please leave a comment on the post What have you done for your patients with M.E.?

The deadline for submitting your suggestions is 26 October 2015. Although the comment sections on the blog posts will remain open after this date, from that point onwards we will be moving onto the next stage of developing the resource.

Thank you for your interest in our project. Please share this post so that we can gather as many comments as possible.

Kind regards,
Emily Beardall MRPharmS

References

1 Pheby D. How common is M.E.? Action for M.E. InterAction 2008 Winter;66(12). http://www.actionforme.org.uk/get-informed/publications/interaction-magazine/read-selected-ia-articles/what-is-me/how-common-is-me.htm (accessed 30 Jun 2015).

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6 thoughts on “What would pharmacy professionals like to see in a resource about M.E.?

  1. As a non patient facing pharmacy professional I’d like to know what services patients would want to receive from their local pharmacy. It’s where all service design should start.

    Just a plea …. Please make this a resource for all pharmacy professionals and not just the pharmacist.

    Good luck with the project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I absolutely agree that the resource should be for all pharmacy professionals so the whole team knows about M.E., along with the impact it can have on issues related to using medicines and pharmacy services.

      Although there isn’t a disease-modifying treatment for M.E. at the moment, there’s a high co-morbidity rate among people with the illness (it’s difficult to find statistics on M.E. but I’m trying to hunt them out!). As a result, some will be on several medicines, so yes, it’s a good idea for me to explore which services are likely to be applicable, also bearing in mind new services such as flu vaccination. I’m writing a blog post and articles for Action for M.E.’s magazine about services for patients as part of a series on pharmacy and pharmacy professionals shortly too. This will help me to crowd-source information about how to make services as accessible as possible for those with M.E.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to comment, Alison. It’s very useful and much appreciated. If there’s any information you’d like in the meantime, please do contact me. Kind regards, Emily

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  2. A simple ebook/pamphlet to raise awareness of
    – what ME is
    – potential causes
    – possible symptoms
    – where to go to get support
    – what other medications (non prescribed; herbals, homeopathy etc) patients may try/use
    – any published evidence/refs to ME treatment?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Gill, these are great ideas. Although there’s no disease-modifying treatment yet, though there are some in the pipelines, there are some meds tat are used to help with symptom management, so I’ll be detailing these and also practical ways a pharmacy can help someone with M.E. depending on their symptom level. Thanks very much for your interest in what we’re doing, Gill.

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    • Lots of support of support and advice you can get from pharmacies, but trick is educating ALL pharmacies so they have wider understanding of the breadth of symptoms sufferers may present with. It is really debilitating and each individual may need a different package or level of support. Often treating symptoms, providing listening ear and referral to services will be big support. Pharmacy training packs would be a great help. have you spoken to RPS?

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      • Thanks, great ideas. We’re hoping to get support from RPS and hopefully their accreditation for the resource. We’ll be using the info for a printed guide, as well as hopefully CPD articles in the PJ and other magazines like C+D and perhaps a technician’s one. We’re also looking for some funding for the project too. Thanks again, Gill.

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