‘Brown bag’ event aims to demystify medicines

The aim of the event is to improve patients’ understanding of their medicines. Photograph: Getty Images

The aim of the event is to improve patients’ understanding of their medicines. Photograph: Getty Images

Tue, Mar 25, 2014, 01:00


Members of the public are being invited to have all of their medication and supplements reviewed by a pharmacist with the aim of improving their understanding of medicines.

The pharmacy “brown bag” event is taking place during the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s MiniMed lecture series 2013/2014 tomorrow night in Dublin.

Pharmacists from the RCSI School of Pharmacy will sit down with each participant, review the medicines they are taking and give some advice.

Michelle Flood, a lecturer at the school of pharmacy and coordinator of the brown bag event, said the concept of a pharmacy medication review originated in the US where members of the public were given brown bags to bring all of their medication – including prescription, over-the-counter, herbal medication and supplements – in to the pharmacist for review.

“The aim of the event is to improve patients’ understanding of their medicines, answer any questions they have and improve communication between patients and their pharmacist. Between one-third and half of patients experience problems taking their medication and the brown bag review can provide simple, practical advice on, for example, the best time to take medicines to avoid side effects.

“People often struggle with side effects or stop taking their medication but these issues can sometimes be managed through better timing of doses or not taking them at the same time as other medicines they are on.”

Tomorrow night’s lectures will focus on the expanding role of the pharmacist in modern healthcare. The RCSI MiniMed open lecture series is free of chrarge, but registration is essential to guarantee a place. Register at rcsi.ie/minimed or phone 01 4022385.