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Shiny toughened skin on hands suffering from scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)

Scleroderma: managementSubscription

There are few evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of scleroderma, and its wide range of potential complications means many different medicines can be used in treatment.

Stratified medicine seeks to understand the mechanism behind diseases and put patients into groups that will respond to a certain treatment.

Stratified medicine is changing our concept of diseaseSubscription

Understanding the different molecular pathways behind a disease will help doctors to manage it.

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

Light micrograph of scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that causes fibrosis of the skin and connective tissues causing mortality due to multiple complications including pulmonary hypertension and renal crisis

Scleroderma: clinical features and diagnosisSubscription

Scleroderma is associated with a higher mortality rate than all other connective tissue disorders because of its multiple complications, including pulmonary hypertension and renal crisis.

Giardia protozoan parasite (pictured) is the cause of the giardiasis infection, usually contracted by drinking contaminated water

Assessing suspected food poisoning cases in the UKSubscription

With more than 20,000 patients hospitalised in the UK each year because of food poisoning, quick assessment is essential.

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Pipeline November 2014Subscription

The latest approvals and positive opinions from the European Medicines Agency.

Pathology specimen of Crohn's disease (pictured) is a condition of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Optimising therapy for inflammatory bowel diseaseSubscription

How to tailor treatment for patients and ensure optimum management of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Growing antimicrobial resistance is growing and results in 25,000 deaths in Europe each year. In the image, enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacterium in an antibiotic susceptibility test proved to be resistant to all of the antibiotics tested

Improving antimicrobial stewardshipVideoSubscription

Improve your practice and slow the increasing levels of antimicrobial resistance that already cost around 25,000 deaths across Europe each year.

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Robert Blyth was the editor of The Pharmaceutical Journal for 25 years, from 1961 to 1986

Robert Blyth (1921–2014)Subscription

By Douglas Simpson

Douglas Simpson highlights the achievements of Robert Blyth, former editor of The Pharmaceutical Journal, who maintained strong editorial authority for a quarter of a century.

Dirty old London: the Victorian fight against filth, by Lee Jackson

A battleground between public health and diseaseSubscription


‘Dirty old London: the Victorian fight against filth’, by Lee Jackson.

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How can a pharmacist working for the NHS secure a promotion

How NHS pharmacists can secure a promotionSubscription

Newly registered hospital pharmacists can seek to progress in their career by gaining experience and completing a clinical diploma. However, once this is achieved, securing further promotion can be a challenge.

Reema Caddies, telepharmacist for helpline NHS 111 at Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Local Care Direct

Triaging urgent care patients via a non-emergency telephone helplineSubscription

Reema Caddies splits her time working between urgent care helpline NHS 111 at Yorkshire Ambulance Service and managing medicines for Local Care Direct, which operates an out-of-hours GP service.

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Pharmacy must turn words into actionSubscription


The pharmacy profession must actively promote its clinical services to avoid a bleak future, says Sandra Gidley, vice-chair of the English Pharmacy Board.

Andrea Smith, Scottish Pharmacy Board member and national clinical lead (pharmacy) for the Scottish Patient Safety Programme

Communicate to make care saferSubscription


Better communication between pharmacists and GPs is crucial to improving patient safety, says Andrea Smith, Scottish Pharmacy Board member and national clinical lead (pharmacy) for the Scottish Patient Safety Programme.

Your RPS

E-cigarettes can be effective smoking cessation aids, Cochrane review suggests

E-cigarettes can be effective smoking cessation aids, Cochrane review suggestsSubscription

E-cigarettes that contain nicotine can help people quit smoking long-term or reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke compared with products that do not contain nicotine, say Cochrane reviewers.

Evidence still lacking for Ebola treatments, concludes European Medicines AgencySubscription

Lack of evidence for seven investigational drugs being developed for the treatment of Ebola means it is impossible to make conclusions about their safety or efficacy.

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Women with a history of mental health problems should receive additional support before, during and after their pregnancy, according to guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Pregnant women at risk of mental health problems need more support, says NICESubscription

Women with a history of mental health problems should receive additional support before, during and after their pregnancy, according to new NICE guidance.

Risk of hyperglycaemia for diabetes patients using faulty insulin pensSubscription

People with diabetes using insulin pens from a number of faulty batches manufactured by Owen Mumford are at risk of hyperglycaemia.

More UK news

Use of antiretroviral therapy could contribute to a reduction in HIV virulence at the population level, study finds

Use of antiretroviral therapy will drive down HIV virulenceSubscription

HIV is evolving relatively rapidly, which is contributing to a reduction in HIV virulence at the population level, say researchers writing in PNAS.

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Evidence suggests that aspirin (molecular structure pictured) can reduce cancer incidence and mortality. However, its benefits do not outweigh the risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding in most women, researchers find

Risk modelling study suggests aspirin’s harms outweigh benefits for younger womenSubscription

For most women, the long-term benefits of aspirin do not outweigh the increase in major gastrointestinal bleeding, say researchers.

Immune checkpoint inhibitor shows positive results in bladder cancer (pictured, light micrograph)

Immune checkpoint inhibitor shows activity against bladder cancerSubscription

Immune checkpoint inhibitor shows “striking preliminary efficacy and safety results” in metastatic bladder cancer, say researchers.

More research briefing

Five tips to improve wellbeing from the Wardley workshop

Charity Pharmacist Support has recently launched a series of wellbeing workshops for pharmacists, preregistration trainees and pharmacy students. Emma Page shares some tips from the workshop she attended this week.

Gum disease is worse in modern Britain than Roman Britain

Pam Mason describes a study from the British Dental Journal, which found that 5% of Roman skulls examined showed signs of moderate to severe gum disease, compared with up to 20% of adults with chronic progressive periodontitis today.

A rethink is needed about how medicines-related IT systems should work

Current initiatives to roll out patient record access to pharmacy provide insufficient patient information, and lack functionalities to ensure safe and efficient provision of services to patients. Moreover, access to these records have been patchy and wider access is needed, writes Andrew Davies.

Taxing tampons as luxury items is simply ridiculous

Chris Chapman describes a campaign from the University of East Anglia student union to remove the 5% VAT that women’s sanitary items are subject to.

Mind-altering parasites

Steve Bremer describes different types of parasitic infection that can cause behavioural changes in humans.

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Caution is needed with e-cigarettesSubscription

In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), known as e-cigarettes. The working party responsible showed less enthusiasm than Margaret Cunningham (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:599). ...

English language testing is a good thingSubscription

I support the plans for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to test pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from the European Economic Area (EEA) on their levels of English.

Other correspondence

Improving antimicrobial stewardship (video)Video

Anna Cichowska, consultant in public health strategy for NHS England and Mark Gilchrist, consultant pharmacist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust discuss the challenge of antimicrobial resistance and highlight key areas of concern.’

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Reader's comment

We do view our profession very pessimistically. It is almost assumed by all that the status quo will remain. As clinical services move to the community pharmacy setting and we begin to manage patients there, the demand for skilled prescribing pharmacists will increase.

Johnathan Laird Pharmacy workforce remains a dilemma