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Department of Health proposes 25% price cut on branded medicines in England

Price cut of 25% proposed for medicines on statutory scheme in EnglandSubscription

The maximum price pharmaceutical companies can charge the NHS for branded medicines could be reduced by 25% under proposals by the Department of Health.

Molecular structure of glimepiride, a diabetes drug which is activated by light and causes the pancreas to release insulin

Diabetes drug is activated by light to cause pancreas to release insulinSubscription

Scientists have developed a “photoswitchable” version of the diabetes drug glimepiride that is activated through exposure to blue light, allowing insulin release by pancreatic cells to be optically controlled.

Valproate should not be prescribed to pregnant women or females of child-bearing age due to harmful side effects on the foetus, regulators recommend

Valproate poses risk to unborn children, says European regulatorSubscription

Review recommends that valproate should not be prescribed to treat bipolar disorder or epilepsy in pregnant women or women or girls of childbearing age unless there is no alternative product.

Complications after cardiac surgery can be life-threatening but are manageable with appropriate drug treatment

Cardiac surgery: caring for a patient and managing complicationsSubscription

Life-threatening complications following cardiac surgery are common, but can be managed with appropriate treatment.

Interpreting ECG to minimise patients' risk of heart symptoms caused by long QT syndrome

Long QT syndromeSubscription

How to interpret ECG readings in long QT syndrome and minimise patients’ risk of heart symptoms caused by this cardiac arrhythmia.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a severe skin condition with a high mortality rate, is caused by adverse drug reactions

Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysisSubscription

Adverse drug reactions account for most cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a severe skin condition with a high mortality rate.

Pharmacists who have committed dispensing errors should not be criminalised

Pharmacists should no longer be at risk of prosecution for dispensing errorsSubscription

New contract between the NHS and community pharmacists in England should hasten change in the criminalisation of dispensing errors.

Future for pharmacy in Wales should be centred on pharmaceutical careSubscription

Politicians in Wales should back a new vision for pharmacy that makes pharmaceutical care a priority. 

The Falsified Medicines Directive calls for the use of barcodes to prevent the spread of counterfeit drugs

The Falsified Medicines Directive: time to get it rightSubscription


The Directive on counterfeit medicines will be complicated to implement and comply with, but it is in everyone’s interest to start thinking about the issues now and get it right first time.

More Opinion

When conflicts in pharmacy workplaces occur, management must step in

Dealing with bullying, harassment or abuse in the workplaceSubscription

Disagreements often occur in hig- pressure pharmacy workplaces. However, when issues become more serious, higher management and external organisations may need to become involved.

Lisa McCluskey, UK final medical signatory

Taking responsibility as a UK final medical signatorySubscription

As a medical science liaison, Lisa McCluskey travels worldwide presenting medical information. She has now been appointed final medical signatory, a role recently made available to pharmacists.

Panelists at the Pharmacy Show debate if e-cigarettes should be sold in pharmacies or not

Should pharmacies sell electronic cigarettes?Subscription

As the UK sees the massive growth of vapers, the e-cigarette industry and pharmacy leaders debate the merits of selling e-cigarettes in pharmacies at the Pharmacy Show.

Local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) should merge to win bids for services from commissioning bodies

Local pharmaceutical committees should consider mergingSubscription

Local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) should consider merging to improve their chances of winning bids for services from commissioning bodies.

Read more about events

Trainee pharmacists attend a revision course to prepare for their registration assessment

How trainee pharmacists can be supported through the registration examSubscription

By ,

Nadia Bukhari, chairwoman of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society pre-registration panel, and panel member Oksana Pyzik, both from UCL School of Pharmacy, describe the support that trainees can access through RPS events.

Ash Soni, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

Medicines optimisation, antimicrobial resistance and pharmacy educationVideoSubscription


RPS president Ash Soni reflects on major issues raised during the ‘pharmacy conference season’ in September.

Special report

The Ebola outbreak

Timeline, ebola virus outbreak 2014

The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease is by far the biggest on record in terms of numbers of people affected and geographical spread. It is also the first time the disease has spread through a large urban environment. Since it began in Guinea in December 2013, it has spread to Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Read the special report

Management of whistleblowers in the healthcare sector

Creating a culture of whistleblowing for pharmacists Subscription

How do we improve the treatment of whistleblowers in the healthcare sector?

Gene therapy is now used to treat a variety of eye diseases

Gene therapy: a treatment coming of ageSubscription

A decade ago many people had written off gene therapy altogether but now there are dozens of trials in progress around the world.

Biology of the Ebola virus

A visual guide to the Ebola virus epidemic Subscription

As the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic continues to escalate, we chart the latest epidemiological data alongside an insight into the pathology of Ebola virus disease and the biological processes being targeted by drug and vaccine developers.

All features

Human embryonic stem cells show evidence of medium to long-term safety and graft survival when transplanted into patients, study finds

Human embryonic stem cells appear to be safe for use in macular degenerationSubscription

Visual acuity improved in the eyes of patients with macular degeneration being treated with embryonic stem cells.

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stenting (known as PTAS) plus medical therapy was associated with a higher likelihood of stroke than medical therapy alone, report the study authors

Review considers strategies for intracranial artery stenosisSubscription

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stenting (PTAS) and medical therapy is linked with a higher risk of stroke than medical therapy alone.

In the picture, HIV viruses budding from a cell. Othjer therapeutic options are being explored for HIV patients who cannot take efavirenz as therapy against HIV.

Options explored for HIV patients unable to take efavirenzSubscription

A clinical trial has evaluated alternatives to first-line therapy efavirenz in treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients. 


Pharmacy is striding forwards

Sandra Gidley reports on the discussions she led at the Liberal Democrats Party Conference.

Dear pharmacist, what do you do all day?

Elizabeth Sukkar describes study results that suggest it will be “many decades” before community pharmacists’ skills are properly implemented in primary health care.

Other blogs

We need to be at the cutting edge of relevant scienceSubscription

As a profession, pharmacy has a main focus on medicines. The idea from Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Bill Scott that science, especially chemistry, is of minor importance (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:234) is absurd. It is a waste of resources if a university course does not get as close to the cutting edge of the relevant science as possible. ...

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Reader's comment

Perversely the funding settlement actually drives contractors further towards item numbers rather than service provision by making them do more dispensing to be in with the remotest possibility of attaining the same revenues.

Tariq Atchia Community pharmacies to lose out in new £2.8bn funding deal