New guidelines that could improve the health of disadvantaged people and save the NHS millions of pounds spent on wasted medicine every year have been introduced – and a Bradford-born pharmacy lecturer played a key role in drafting them.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has just released guidelines to show how doctors, pharmacists and nurses can involve and support patients in decisions about taking medicine.

The guidelines were drawn up over two years by a nationwide team of healthcare experts including Bradford-born pharmacy lecturer Dr Mahendra Patel.

Dr Patel said the new guidelines were designed to address the problem that as much as 50 per cent of medication is not used as prescribed, with people from disadvantaged areas the least likely to take up and access appropriate medical care.

“For example, people in areas with a large population of South Asian origin have got the poorest health, particularly in terms of coronary heart disease and diabetes,” said Dr Patel. “Cultural and religious beliefs or poor communication could at times account for the reasoning behind these health inequalities.”