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The latest figures on obesity, published by the NHS Information Centre, is cast-iron proof that pharmacy must play a pivotal role under the new health reforms, says Ajit Malhi, head of marketing services for AAH Pharmaceuticals.
For the first time ever hospital admissions for obesity topped the 10,000 mark, a rise of 30 per cent of which the majority were for stomach shrinking operations. Meanwhile, obesity prescriptions have rocketed; an 11-fold increase in a decade equating to nigh on one and a half million today.
What is more worrying is that the economics suggest obesity surgery funds itself; we cannot turn into an ‘eat then treat’ society that makes decisions based upon the NHS bottom line rather than patient wellbeing.
Pharmacy continues to be the first point of healthcare for countless communities across the UK where weight management programmes and advice coupled with some recent POM to P switches are readily available and discreet.
Surely this is proof enough, given its links with Type 2 diabetes and the enormous strain that this piles onto secondary care, that commissioners should not only take advantage of the expertise, convenience and accessibility that pharmacy provides, but promotes it and urges the UK public to walk through our doors.