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Coordinated action is needed to combat the epidemic of falsified medicines that is sweeping the globe. In the image, a Chinese policeman walks over 50 tonnes of counterfeit medicine that is about to be destroyed.

Pharmaceutical fakes: a dangerous pandemicSubscription

A unified authentication system is needed to combat the massive trade in counterfeit medicines. 

Manica Balasegaram executive director of MSF

Countries to explore pooled procurement of vaccines to reduce costsSubscription

The World Health Assembly, the decision making body of the World Health Organization, has passed resolution that aims to improve the affordability and accessibility of vaccines. 

Primary chemotherapy followed by delayed surgery is an acceptable alternative to primary surgery, the current standard of care, in women with advanced ovarian cancer, trial results show. In the image, ovarian cancer

Receiving chemotherapy before surgery may benefit women with ovarian cancerSubscription

Primary chemotherapy followed by delayed surgery is an acceptable alternative to primary surgery, the current standard of care, in women with advanced ovarian cancer, according to the results of a clinical trial.

New partnerships between the pharmaceutical industry, academia and politicians are needed to generate new antibiotics to fight antimicrobial resistance, according to a global action plan approved by the World Health Assembly (pictured)

WHO publishes its plan to tackle antimicrobial resistanceSubscription

New partnerships between the pharmaceutical industry, academia and politicians are needed to generate new antibiotics and other technologies to fight antimicrobial resistance, according to a global action plan approved by the World Health Assembly.

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The on-going battle by Pfizer (logo pictured) to protect its patent of Lyrica (pregabalin) as GPs voted for “urgent” legislation to end patent protection for specific indications for branded medicines.

GPs call for legislation to end patent protection for specific drugsSubscription

While patent protection is important for stimulating drug development, a second medical use patent for pregabalin has caused “considerable” work for pharmacies.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has announced the results of the 2015 English Pharmacy Board election. Chair of the board David Branford (pictured) lost his seat after his five-year term, two of those as chairman, after receiving 13.9% of the vote.

English Pharmacy Board election results are announcedSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has announced the results of the 2015 English Pharmacy Board election, as voter turnout marginally rose but remained low.

More UK news

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

The thyroid is a small gland located in the front of the neck. The thyroid hormones stimulate diverse metabolic activities, leading to regulation of the basal metabolic rate. In the image, scanning electron micrograph of follicles found in the thyroid

Thyroid dysfunction and drug interactionsSubscription

Correcting thyroid function can require dose adjustment of common medicines to prevent serious complications.

Glaucoma is a group of optic neuropathies characterised by progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. This degeneration results in cupping of the optic disc and visual loss

Glaucoma: treatment of open angle glaucoma and ocular hypertensionSubscription

Pharmacological treatment is essential for patients with glaucoma, although patient compliance can be a problem.

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Dengue fever and chikungunya are insect-borne viral diseases. They are both viral infections spread by the Aedes mosquito (pictured). Chikungunya is caused by Togaviridae alphavirus and dengue is caused by Flavirideae flavivirus

Dengue fever and chikungunya: identification in travellersSubscription

With travel to the tropics more common than ever before, viral infections such as dengue fever and chikungunya should be suspected in travellers who develop a fever and fatigue.

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Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics and lack of counselling with online services need to be addressed to reduce antimicrobial resistance

How online services are contributing to gonorrhoea treatment resistanceSubscription

By

Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics and lack of counselling with online services need to be addressed to reduce antimicrobial resistance.

The international community must step up and conclude a protocol that could clamp down on tobacco sales outside the regulated supply chain.

Stop illicit tobacco tradeSubscription

The international community must step up and conclude a protocol that could clamp down on tobacco sales outside the regulated supply chain.

More Opinion

David Reissner, partner at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Setting up a pharmacy on GP premises: the lawSubscription

Pharmacy owners may have considered locating their businesses on GP premises to increase their dispensing volume. However, they need to ensure they are acting within the law.

Patients can benefit when the healthcare service embraces new ways of working that address clinical need and changing demands, particularly when high risk medicines or patients are involved. In the image, a pharmacist checks patient records

How to establish a new clinical pharmacy serviceSubscription

Satinder Bhandal and Jayne Ballinger set up a clinic in 2012 to help patients access new oral anticoagulants safely. They explain how other pharmacists can set up their own clinical services.

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ResearchKit Apple new software iPhone users medical research diagnostic devices collect scientific data new frontier medical studies

ResearchKit: a clever tool to gather clinical dataSubscription

New software from Apple makes it easy for iPhone users to contribute to medical research but scientists warn there may be pitfalls.

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Pactamycin, an antibiotic isolated from Streptomyces pactum, opens a new frontier in anticancer drug development, researchers say. In the image, scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Streptomyces bacteria

Pactamycin analogues open ‘new frontier’ in anticancer drug developmentSubscription

Researchers are looking at two promising analogues of an old compound with potent antitumour activity, but abandoned because of its toxicity.

Oral steroids provide a modest boost to function for patients with sciatica. In the image, an MRI scan of a patient with a lumbar herniated disk.

Oral steroids provide a modest boost to function for patients with sciaticaSubscription

A trial has found giving patients a tapered 15-day course of oral steroids can provide a modest improvement in function.

Aspirin reduces platelet activation and might be beneficial in diseases involving the pulmonary vasculature such as emphysema. In the image, micrograph of red blood cell platelets

Aspirin users see slower progression of emphysemaSubscription

Regular aspirin use may slow the progression of subclinical emphysema through effects on platelet activation or inflammation, say researchers.

More research briefing

Cracking your knuckles will do you no harm

Scientists have used an MRI scanner to observe what happens when you crack your knuckles — a process that does not seem to cause ill health effects.

Health issues for those who stay up late

People who stay up late, so-called “night owls”, are more likely to develop particular health issues than those who go to bed early.

Placebo effect genes identified

Researchers have identified at least 11 genes that influence individuals’ susceptibility to the placebo effect.

Could changing the cooking method result in a lower-calorie food?

The number of usable calories in rice can be lowered by boiling it in water and coconut oil and then cooling it.

Could an Anglo-Saxon remedy help kill MRSA?

An Anglo-Saxon recipe that combines garlic, leeks, wine and ox gall may be a useful antibacterial agent, writes Pam Mason.

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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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David Branford

Chair of RPS England board loses seat by just 16 votesSubscription

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David Branford departs the English Pharmacy Board after five years, following a close election result.

New legislation governing how poisons and chemicals can be supplied by pharmacies have been clarified in guidance from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). Nitric acid (pictured) is now a regulated substance under the explosive pre-cursor category

Guidance clarifies new rules for pharmacies selling poisons and chemicalsSubscription

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Changes in legislation prompt the RPS to publish guidance for pharmacists.

Your RPS

Joining the pharmacy dots will save the NHSSubscription

NHS Chief Executive Simon Stephens published his NHS ‘Five Year Forward View’ in 2014 to almost unanimous acclaim. Now the general election is over, it will be full-steam ahead with the ‘Five Year Forward View’, and we must grasp the opportunity it presents.

‘Yes’ to preventing type 1 diabetesSubscription

I read with excitement Debbie Andalo’s piece about administering oral insulin to children at risk of developing type 1 diabetes (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:472) ...

Other correspondence

Special report

Pharmacists in GP practices

Pharmacists in GP practices

Professional leadership bodies for pharmacists and GPs have jointly call for practices in England to hire pharmacists in clinical roles to address growing pressure on GP services. As the campaign grows, diverse views arise.

Read the special report

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Reader's comment

Regarding assisted dying it would appear that all three representatives continue to dither...nobody wants to be the one to push the debate.

Christopher Mercer Question time: UK political parties share their views on healthcare matters