On Wednesday 12 October 2016 the inaugural conference took place in Belfast: ‘Medicines Optimisation in Mental Health – putting patients at the centre of medicines and innovation’. Afterwards Professor Michael Scott and Chairman Gerry Lynch gave their thoughts on the messages of the day.
MOIC Director Professor Mike Scott said that the current situation where patients with mental health issues have a shorter average life expectancy of up to 20 years is unacceptable:
“We’ve been hearing for some time now that more needs to be done to tackle the issue of shortened life expectancy as a result of mental illness. Oxford University outlined in 2014 how mental health problems can have a greater impact on life expectancy than heavy smoking and this conference aimed to look at how better medicines optimisation can tackle this serious problem. What we heard was encouraging as the issue is clearly on the radar of the Department but we would like to see this become a priority going forward.”
Consultant Psychiatrist and conference chairman Gerry Lynch, said:
“For this equality of priority to be achieved, we need to see equal access to the most effective and safest care and treatment, equal efforts to improve the quality of care, the allocation of time, effort and resources on a basis commensurate with need, equal status within healthcare education and practice, equally high aspirations for service users/carers – and equal status in the measurement of health.”
Medicines Optimisation in Mental Health Health – putting patients at the centre of medicines and innovation, 12 October 2016, The Ramada Plaza Hotel, Belfast. The Conference was sponsored by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd and coordinated by Pharmacy Management – both are partners with MOIC for the communication and delivery of medicines optimisation.
Lead picture, from left to right: Michael Flock (National NHS Partnerships & Strategy Manager, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals), Professor Michael Scott (director MOIC), Cathy Harrison (Senior Principal Pharmaceutical Officer at Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety, NI), and John Stanley (Chief Executive Officer, Pharmacy Management).