New Medicine Service (NMS)


Practices need to beware of a new service pharmacists have been commissioned to provide from the 1st October. 

You may soon be approached by your local pharmacist to discuss how the initiative will work in your area. 

In particular pharmacists will be keen to see if practices can help identify when new medication is prescribed. 

In discussions at various meetings I’ve attended, annotating or stamping a script with “New Medication” has been the most favored option. 

NMS is explained below 

Paul Roblin

Explanation of New Medicine Service (NMS) from Pharmacies
(Begins on 1st October)

Pharmacists can provide the NMS to patients who have been newly prescribed a medicine in one of the following conditions/therapy areas:

  • asthma and COPD
  • type 2 diabetes
  • antiplatelet/anticoagulant therapy
  • hypertension 

For each condition/therapy area, a list of medicines has been agreed (see box below).  

The service is split into three stages: 

1. Patient engagement– following the prescribing of a new medicine covered by the service, patients may be recruited to the service by prescriber referral or opportunistically by the community pharmacy. The patient will be asked to consent for information to be shared with their GP as necessary.
The pharmacy will dispense the prescription and provide initial advice as it normally would.

2. Intervention– the intervention will take place between seven and 14 days after patient engagement at an agreed time and through a method agreed with the patient (this could be face to face or by telephone).
The pharmacist will use an interview schedule to assess the patient’s adherence, identify problems and the patient’s need for further information and support which the pharmacist will provide.

3. Follow up– the pharmacist will follow up with the patient 14 to 21 days after the intervention (again face to face or by telephone) to discuss how the patient is getting on with their medicine. They will also provide advice if required.

At both the intervention and follow up stages, the pharmacist may identify a problem which requires the prescriber to review the prescription. Where this is required, the pharmacist will complete an NMS feedback form to provide the GP with the details they require.

The feedback form was designed by the Professional Relationships Working Group which is made up of NHS Employers, PSNC and the GPC.

Asthma and COPD

  • Adrenoceptor agonists
  • Antimuscarinic bronchodilators
  • Theophylline Compound bronchodilator preparations
  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Cromoglicate and related therapy
  • leukotriene receptor antagonists
  • phosphodiesterase type-4 inhibitors. 

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Short acting insulins*
  • Intermediate and long acting insulins*
  • Antidiabetic drugs. 

Antiplatelet/anticoagulant therapy

  • Oral anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelet drugs. 


  • Thiazides and related diuretics
  • Beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs*
  • Vasodilator antihypertensive drugs
  • Centrally acting antihypertensive drugs
  • Alpha-adrenoceptor blocking drugs
  • Drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system*
  • Calcium-channel blockers*. 

* where the community pharmacist can determine that the medicine has been newly prescribed for the specified condition.


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