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Scarlet fever is an infectious disease caused by toxin-producing strains of the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus (GAS), pictured

Scarlet fever: acute management and infection controlSubscription

With England facing increased levels of scarlet fever for the second consecutive year, find out how to identify and treat this communicable disease.

A new drug inhibits an enzyme called proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 or PCSK9, which could help lower cholesterol and reduce heart attacks. In the image, a light micrograph of cholesterol crystals

PCSK9 inhibitors: the next cholesterol-lowering blockbusters?

Statins have been a mainstay of heart attack and stroke prevention for the past 20 years, but the race is on to bring a new drug to market that targets an enzyme called PCSK9.

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Complete the CPD modules and receive your certificate from The Pharmaceutical Journal.

Coloured 3D computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen of a patient with impacted bowels, which could occur in patients with untreated constipation

Constipation: managing the condition in adultsSubscription

How to assess patients with constipation and select the right treatment to minimise the risk of complications.

Dialysis involves passing the patient’s blood against a semi-permeable membrane. The main options are haemodialysis (HD) pictured, using a dialysis machine and peritoneal dialysis (PD), which uses the patient’s peritoneum

Dialysis: principles and treatment optionsSubscription

How to choose between haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis when starting renal replacement therapy.

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Incompatibility poses a constant risk when mixing medicines but it can be avoided by understanding the chemical reactions taking place. In the image, a group of IV drips in hospital

Mixing medicines: how to ensure patient safetySubscription

Incompatibility poses a constant risk when mixing medicines but it can be avoided by understanding the chemical reactions taking place.

Linaclotide, lubiprostone and prucalopride are some of the latest medicines for the management of constipation. In the image, barium enema x-ray of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Linaclotide, lubiprostone and prucalopride interactionsSubscription

How to avoid potential pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions with the latest medicines for managing constipation.

In the image, a colour x-ray of a coronary artery with Kawasaki disease, a type of vasculitis. Vasculitis is a collection of rare diseases characterised by the inflammation of blood vessel walls.

Managing ANCA-associated vasculitisSubscription

Treatment of vasculitis associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies requires immunosuppressive therapies and close monitoring of the patient to manage toxicity.

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Over 100,000 people in the UK who could benefit from palliative care do not receive it, according to a report by the London School of Economics and Political Science. Image of a nurse holding the head of a dying patient

Better information is needed to improve palliative care servicesSubscription

Gaps in access to palliative care services mean that many patients with life-limiting illnesses miss out on support they need, but there is much to learn about people’s experiences at the end of life.

Current dietary guidelines issued by Public Health England (Department of Health) to lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by eating less saturated fat have once again come under attack. But evidence still stands: its consumption should be limited

Saturated fat: guidelines to reduce coronary heart disease risk are still validSubscription

By

A debate over whether saturated fat is bad for cardiovascular health has surfaced once again. The evidence still stands: its consumption should be limited.

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Fitness to practise can be impaired for a number of reasons including misconduct, lack of competence, ill health and conviction of a criminal offence. Here is an outline of the fitness-to-practise process

The UK fitness-to-practise process: from complaint to appealSubscription

If a complaint is brought against a pharmacist in the UK, what can he or she expect from the fitness-to-practise process? Ailsa Colquhoun explains.

Jamie Wilkinson works at the Pharmaceutical Group in the European Union. He is a community pharmacy campaigner in Europe

Advocating community pharmacy in EuropeSubscription

In his role at the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union, Jamie Wilkinson spends his time promoting community pharmacy in a variety of ways. Here, he describes the travelling, presenting and networking associated with the job.

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Applicants are about to undergo their final assessment as the RPS Faculty prepares to accept the first pharmacists with less than ten years’ experience

Tough, costly, rewarding: how 12 pharmacists found the RPS Faculty processSubscription

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As the RPS Faculty prepares to accept the first pharmacists with less than ten years’ experience, Stephen Robinson explores the views of those applicants about to undergo their final assessment.

Tom Gray, head of professional and clinical leadership at the University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy and Claire Anderson, English Pharmacy Board member

Pre-registration training: is ‘good enough’ good enough?Subscription

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Following reports of dissatisfaction with pre-registration training, Claire Anderson, English Pharmacy Board member, and Tom Gray, head of professional and clinical leadership at the University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy, ask whether the programme is fit for purpose.

Your RPS

Adherence to the oral anticoagulant dabigatran varies substantially among clinics and is higher at sites with pharmacist-led monitoring and appropriate patient selection, a US study finds. In the image, a pharmacist consults with a patient

Pharmacist-led monitoring improves adherence to dabigatranSubscription

Adherence to the oral anticoagulant dabigatran varies substantially among clinics and is higher at sites with pharmacist-led monitoring and appropriate patient selection, a US study has found.

A holistic, community pharmacy-based medicines review service can improve quality of life, medicines adherence and reduce the risk of falls in older patients

Holistic service from community pharmacists can reduce fall risk and improve patients’ quality of lifeSubscription

A holistic, community pharmacy-based medicines review service directed at older patients taking four or more medicines can improve quality of life, medicines adherence and reduce the risk of falls, suggests new research.

Identification and characterisation of a small molecule that targets protein receptors that stimulate the immune system could lead to novel vaccine adjuvants and anti-tumour agents. In the image, a human pathogen recognition molecule

Small molecule could pave way for novel vaccine adjuvants Subscription

Identification and characterisation of a small molecule that targets protein receptors that stimulate the immune system could lead to novel vaccine adjuvants and anti-tumour agents.

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Imatinib mimics physiological response to produce antimicrobial effectsSubscription

The anti-cancer agent imatinib at very low doses mimics a physiological innate response to infection in the bone marrow, research shows.

A major research venture has yielded two antibiotic regimens that can be administered in low-income and middle-income countries. In the image, a mother and child from Dhaki, Bangladesh

Alternative antibiotic regimens effective for resource-poor settingsSubscription

A major research venture has yielded two antibiotic regimens for treating severe infections that can be administered in the outpatient setting.

Cochrane reviewers have found little or no good-quality evidence to prove xylitol, a natural sweetener found in sugar-free chewing gums and tooth pastes, has a protective effect against tooth decay. In the image, twin boys brushing their teeth

Xylitol may not protect teeth from decaySubscription

Cochrane reviewers have found little or no good-quality evidence to prove xylitol has a protective effect against tooth decay.

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More research briefing

David Herold, Pharmacist who helped Lincoln's assassin

The pharmacist who helped Lincoln’s assassin

Pharmacist David Edgar Herold helped John Wilkes Booth to escape after he had assassinated Abraham Lincoln on 14 April 1865.

Canine and electronic noses and their medical applications

Research has shown that dogs can detect volatile compounds in human breath that indicate different types of cancer. Prototype ‘electronic noses’, such as the Na-Nose, can also detect cancer from patients’ exhaled breath.

The importance of original scientific research for pharmacy students

The research project, undertaken by pharmacy students in their final year, helps individuals to learn fundamental skills for their future careers, argue Joanne Hainsworth and Patrick To.

A pharmacist's journey through the Ebola epidemic

Pharmacist Claire Liew is currently volunteering at an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone. She explains how the disease has affected everyday life.

Prairie-grass and PCB pollution

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental contaminants that have contaminated large areas of agricultural land in the US. Prairie-grass helps to remove PCB pollution.

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Promotional feature

Visit the PROTECT website at www.protect-cpd.com for a free CPD-accredited, in-depth and interactive, e-learning programme on advanced pharmacy management of acid reflux

Step into the limelight – pharmacists to take the lead in advancing the management of acid reflux

So, step into the limelight!  In this article we review the current thinking in the management of heartburn and acid reflux in community pharmacies, and provide guidance and practical tools for the entire pharmacy team to support a customer-centric approach to care.

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A collaborative approach will make pharmacy strongerSubscription

I welcome and support the recent announcement that the Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) are to merge to create a single representative and support organisation under the NPA banner. This has long been an ambition and it is good news for the sector. This will provide a single voice for the owners of independent pharmacies (in England through the channel of Pharmacy Voice) and will ensure that there is a much needed clarity of purpose and ...

Why not just ask a pharmacist for advice?Subscription

I have just watched the BBC programme ‘The truth about your medicine cabinet’, which was a fairly entertaining exposé (in the loosest sense of the term). I found it strange that the nation needs a 60-minute programme to tell us what people could have discovered if they had simply walked into a pharmacy and asked a pharmacist’s advice on treating their minor symptoms. Instead, the programme insinuates that, as a nation, we appear to be wandering aimlessly around supermarkets and service ...

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Reader's comment

I know of pharmacists who have left the profession due to a loss of confidence after making an error. As a profession we do not take this seriously enough.

Kay Dunkley How do you feel after you’ve made an error?