Lelly Oboh will represent the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in a government review of overprescribing in the NHS.
Her appointment was announced by Keith Ridge, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer, during his keynote speech at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress held in London on 7 June 2019.
Oboh, a Fellow of the RPS, is consultant pharmacist for older people at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and the NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service. She will sit on a working group, which will advise on how to reduce inappropriate and unnecessary medicines for patients across the NHS.
In December 2018, health secretary Matt Hancock ordered a review into overprescribing in the NHS. Led by Ridge, the review’s scope includes ways to address inappropriate polypharmacy, improved links between primary and secondary care and the role of social prescribing.
A study published in March 2018 reported that the number of older people taking five or more prescription or over-the-counter medicines in England had risen from 12% to 49% over the past two decades. The government review will look at cases of patients receiving multiple medicines for the same condition, and when repeat prescriptions are reissued for long periods without being reviewed.
Oboh said the review will support pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to “play a part, within their scope of practice, to reduce medicines-related harm and improve outcomes for our patients”. She added that it will also encourage patients and carers to take a more active role in their medicines management.
“I look forward to being part of this important programme,” Oboh said.
Ridge said that he was “delighted” to have Oboh on board.
“As a consultant pharmacist regularly seeing patients with complex needs, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of polypharmacy at the front line of patient care, and will be a valuable member of the working group,” he told delegates at the conference.