Optimising Medicines

Peter RiversName: Dr Peter Rivers
Position: Reader in Pharmacy Practice Research
Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

Research Topic: Use of Medicines between Health & Social Care 

About Dr Peter Rivers
Dr Peter Rivers teaches both undergraduates and postgraduates at the De Montfort. Dr Rivers qualifications include a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Pharmacy, a Masters in Pharmacotherapeutics, a PhD, and a MRPharmS.

About Dr Rivers’ Research 
His research focuses on the use of medicines at the interface between health and social care. This involves looking at the ways in which Pharmacists dispense medicine to the public, and how they advise the patients on the use of it.

Prescribed Medicine
There are two sides to Dr Rivers research. One side is looking at the way in which patients use medicine that is prescribed to them, or medicine that can be bought over the counter for minor ailments. The term “Adherence” is used to describe whether or not people adhere to the recommended usage of the medicine as it is prescribed. There are many people who do not take the medicine as it is prescribed which will not help them as much as it could. For example, a person on antibiotics may not take them for the full course, which could potentially slow down their recovery from illness. Dr Rivers’ research aims to find explanations as to why patients do not take the medicine as they are supposed to and attempt to counter this and get the most out of medicines, which is referred to as “Optimising Medicines”.

Pharmacy Services 
The second part of Dr Rivers research focuses on pharmacy services, such as chemists or community pharmacists. Many people believe pharmacists simply hand out medicine to people, which is inaccurate, as they now have a wider role than before. They can be involved in many different services such as: improving public health, smoking cessation schemes, trying to help people lose weight, and even screening patients to predict if they are likely to suffer from heart disease. By researching these services, it can be determined how effective they are and look at ways in which they can be improved to make them as good as possible.

To help further his research, Dr Rivers was able to get five graduates to take surveys outside of pharmacy’s to try and find out if the people that had been prescribed medicine had been given advice on how to take the medication. At the time of writing, the results of the survey have not yet been returned, however they could prove very effective in helping to improve service and ultimately, get the most out of medicines within the society.

Comments are closed.