Children/young people taking long-term medication: a survey of community pharmacists' experiences in England

Jeff Aston, Keith A. Wilson, David R.P. Terry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether community pharmacists undertake medication reviews with children/their carers and to identify the type of medication-related experiences presented to them when a child is taking long-term medication.

METHODS: A 13 question semi-structured survey was posted to 354 England-based community pharmacists with telephone follow-up/repeat mailing of non-responders. Participants were asked about their practice as a community pharmacist over the preceding 12 months to children/young people, or their carers, taking long-term medication. The questionnaire covered: medication review, reported adherence, information requests, adverse effects, administration and obtaining medication supplies. The data were analysed using SPSS version 22 and NVivo version 10.

RESULTS: The response rate was 76/354 (21.5%). Eighteen (23.7%) respondents had undertaken a Medicines Use Review (MUR) and 22 (28.9%) a New Medicines Service (NMS) medication review with a child/their carer. Participants reported that patients/their carers had presented to them with non-adherence including stopping medication (24, 31.6%) and changing the dose (28, 36.8%). Respondents were directly asked about the indication (59, 77.6%), dose regimen (63, 82.9%), administration (64, 84.2%) and adverse effects (58, 76.3%) of prescribed medication. Respondents reported patients/carers experiencing difficulties obtaining medication from their community pharmacy (47, 61.8%) and patients' family doctors declining to prescribe a medication recommended by a specialist (27, 35.5%).

CONCLUSIONS: Medicines Use Review and NMS reviews are utilised by community pharmacists in children/their carers. The medication-related experiences presenting to community pharmacists could fall within the purview of a medication review (MUR or NMS). There is scope to further extend this service to this group of patients/carers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-110
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number2
Early online date3 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • chronic medication
  • community pharmacy
  • medication review
  • pharmaceutical care
  • prescribed medicines


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