Laura Wilson, RPS Scotland Policy and Practice Lead

RPS Scotland met with the minister for Drugs Policy, Angela Constance, on Wednesday (September 1) to discuss pharmacy’s role in reducing harm from drugs.

Improving availability of naloxone, increasing access to long-acting buprenorphine, timely medication reviews by pharmacists and recording sales of high risk over the counter medicines were other topics discussed in the meeting.

Laura Wilson, RPS Scotland policy lead, said: “We described how pharmacy teams in both community pharmacy and GP practices could administer long-acting buprenorphine.

“Enabling pharmacists to be involved would provide patients with choice about where and when they access buprenorphine, making it more likely to retain people in treatment and consequently reduce drug deaths.”

RPS Scotland stated that naloxone should be made available in all community pharmacies and in all clinical settings.

Clare Morrison, RPS director for Scotland, added: “We pointed out that the current variation across Scotland in where naloxone is available causes confusion and access problems for patients, and asked for this to be addressed through a consideration of a national community pharmacy naloxone service.”

The Scottish Government on August 31, launched a campaign to raise public awareness about drug overdose and the life-saving medication naloxone.

Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioids-related overdose.

According to government data, in 2020, 1,339 people died because of drug overdose in Scotland, marking the seventh consecutive year of a record number of drug-related deaths.

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