Pharmacists provide pharmaceutical care to patients both while they are in hospital and at home.

This means the pharmacist can help people with MS get the maximum benefit from the medicines that have been prescribed for them. Pharmacists can also help doctors choose the best medicines and the best way of administering them. The pharmacist will also ensure that people have a continuous supply of their medicines.

It is important that people with MS have the right information about their medicines so they can feel confident about taking them, with the minimum number of unwanted side effects and the maximum benefit. During their stay in hospital, people with MS may be visited by the hospital pharmacist and given advice about their medications and how best to take them.

When it is time for the person to go home, the hospital pharmacist can help draw-up a plan to ensure that the person with MS, their carers and community pharmacist have all the information they need to ensure the smooth running of any continuing treatment.

The community pharmacist will provide ongoing advice and information about the medications, and will liaise with the GP and other community health care providers. A pharmacist can inform and interpret drug or treatment information, so they can help people with MS and their carers by giving an informed opinion about their medicines, including how they may act or interact together and reported or expected side effects. A pharmacist can help to answer any queries that a person with MS may have about their treatment options.

While in hospital, the person with MS may see their hospital pharmacist every weekday. Alternatively he/she can ask a nurse to contact the hospital pharmacist and arrange a meeting with them if required. While at home, the person with MS should contact their community pharmacist if they have any problems or queries about their medications.

People with MS are automatically entitled to a Long-Term Illness Card. This means that all their medication related to their MS is free. A straightforward application form must be completed to avail of this. More information on how to apply to the Long Term Illness Scheme  

Useful Links and Resources

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland has produced a Patient Charter that lays out what you should be able to expect from your pharmacist.