The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and NHS Employers have published further details of the New Medicine Service (NMS) and targeted Medicines Use Reviews (MURs), to ensure that community pharmacy and the NHS have the information they need to implement the new services, which are due to commence on October 1.

The NMS is being introduced to help improve medicines adherence in people in England with long-term conditions who are newly-prescribed a medicine. Initially focusing on particular patient groups and conditions, the Service will be supported by a maximum investment of £55 million a year in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

The newly-published details on the funding structure for the NMS reveal that, in year one, pharmacies will have access to a fixed, one-off implementation payment of £750 and target payments based on the number of NMS episodes that are completed.

They also include the pharmacist self-assessment form which will need to be satisfactorily completed to demonstrate that a pharmacist has the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver the NMS.

The document also the lists of medicines included in the roll-out of the NMS and notes that the first four therapy areas to be included in the initial roll-out of the Service are respiratory disease, type 2 diabetes, anticoagulant therapy and hypertension.

The new details also include a list of high-risk medicines for targeted MURs. National target patient groups for MURs are being introduced with the aim of ensuring that  Reviews are provided to those who will benefit the most. Outcome measures will be introduced for each target group, plus initiatives to improve post-payment monitoring, in order to ensure that MURs are delivered to a high quality and provide greater value for money and benefit to patients.

Publication of the update "should provide the essential information that pharmacists and contractors need to successfully implement the NMS," said PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe, and she forecast that the new Service will "improve health outcomes and ensure the NHS maximises the value of medicinal therapy."

Felicity Cox, lead negotiator for NHS Employers, added: "we are doing our best to make sure the changes are implemented as smoothly as possible - however, we all have a role to play to ensure we can hit the ground running on October 1."

"We are excited about the new services and believe the changes can deliver positive health outcomes for patients, build community pharmacy's reputation as clinical experts and make a valuable contribution to the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) agenda," said Ms Cox.

- The King's Fund's new inquiry paper on GP prescribing (see story today) calls on GP practices to demonstrate that medication reviews are done regularly, effectively and to a high standard. Clinical pharmacists should be involved where practicable, it adds.