The Welsh Government Health Minister visited a Blackwood pharmacy on August 6 to find out about a new way of supplying long-term medicines.
Mark Drakeford was joined by Islwyn AM, Gwyn Price, at Mayberry Pharmacy and saw the MediPack prescription service in operation.
The system allows patients to easily keep check of the medicine they have taken making it easier to check if they have taken their prescribed tablets and greatly reduces the risk of taking the wrong tablets at the wrong time.
The pair also saw the firm’s twin dispensing robots, that use bar codes to dispense up to 6,000 prescriptions a day, the weekly average for UK pharmacies.
The pharmacist only has to check prescriptions instead of both dispensing and checking, freeing up time to spend with patients on services such as blood pressure testing and medicine reviews.
Mark Drakeford AM said: “As a Government we are aware that pharmacists are an important asset for NHS Wales and we are looking at ways we can use their expertise to improve patient access to healthcare and reduce the pressure on GPs.”
Paul Mayberry, managing director of Mayberry Pharmacy, said: “We are delighted that the minister appreciates the contribution pharmacists can make to healthcare in Wales.
“As a pharmacy group we help more than 400,000 people every year with their medication needs. We know some of them struggle taking their tablets properly, either because they find it difficult to remember if they have taken them or because they find it challenging managing multiple doses and opening different boxes.
“This leads to some not taking their medicines and is the reason we developed MediPack.”