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For the first time, a new drug is being developed to work by modulating the activity of the microbiome, the 100 trillion bacteria that inhabit the human gut. The image is a scanned electron micrograph of the intestinal villi where microbiomes are found

Drug metabolism: manipulating the microbiome Subscription

Understanding how symbiotic bacteria that help maintain health interact with medicines is an emerging field of research.

Rain pouring down on Mt Hood National Forest in Oregon, USA

The secret life of ketamineSubscription

Ketamine is being used to treat depression in clinics that are springing up across the United States, but uncertainty remains over its long-term use.

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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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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.

X-ray of deep vein thrombosis, pictured. Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) are used widely for the prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Low molecular weight heparins for treating venous thromboembolismSubscription

How to start patients on these common injected anticoagulants and optimise treatment.

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are indicated in the management of most patients with asthma and some patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the image, a scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing alveoli and pulmonary blood vessels

Inhaled corticosteroids: managing side effectsSubscription

Inhaled corticosteroids are commonly prescribed but need careful management to minimise the risk of side effects.

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Bruce Warner, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer describes his role in promoting the medicines optimisation agenda and his views on broader issues affecting pharmacists

Bruce Warner: getting the best value and outcomes from the use of medicinesSubscription

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Deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Bruce Warner discusses promoting the medicines optimisation agenda and shares his views on broader issues affecting pharmacists.

“Doctoring data,” by Malcolm Kendrick

Do not take medical data at face valueSubscription

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‘Doctoring data’ by Malcolm Kendrick.

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From July 2014, all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous employment are now able to submit a flexible working request

How changes to UK flexible working laws affect pharmacistsSubscription

Kevin McKenna, head of employment law at Kuits Solicitors in Manchester, explains how changes to laws on flexible working have affected employers and employees.

Pharmacists were able to apply for a clinical doctoral research Fellowships from the National Institute for Health Research for the first time in 2014, giving them access to funding for an applied healthcare project.

How to secure funding from the National Institute for Health ResearchSubscription

Pharmacists were able to apply for clinical doctoral research Fellowships from the National Institute for Health Research for the first time in 2014, giving them access to funding for an applied healthcare project. With applications for 2015 now open, experts on the process share their advice.

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David Branford is the English Pharmacy Board chair

RPS chair: GP practice role will help develop clinical future for the professionSubscription

Creating opportunities in general practice for pharmacists will allow to the profession to adopt a greater clinical role in care, says the English Pharmacy Board chair David Branford.

Bruce Warner, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer, said “the time is right” for more pharmacists to work as part of GP practice teams across the country

NHS England calls for assessment of pharmacists' skills for GP practice roleSubscription

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Deputy chief pharmaceutical officer warns NHS not to introduce pharmacists in GP surgeries initiative in a “reckless” manner, and says skills and training requirements must be assessed first.

Your RPS

NHS funding provided to GPs for them to deliver travel health services to their patients could be shifted to community pharmacy, according to a travel health expert

GP travel health funding could shift to pharmacySubscription

NHS funding provided to GPs for them to deliver travel health services to their patients could be shifted to community pharmacy, according to a travel health expert.

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Taking more than one course of some antibiotics is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research

Past antibiotic exposure linked to increased diabetes riskSubscription

Taking more than one course of some antibiotics is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

Phenylephrine eye drops do not pose a risk to patient’s cardiovascular health, study findsSubscription

Eye drops containing phenylephrine do not cause clinically significant changes in blood pressure or heart rate, a meta-analysis finds.

The Pharmaceutical Journal has won an Award of Excellence from The Society for News Design (SND) for the overall redesign of the print magazine

Pharmaceutical Journal wins international news design award

The Pharmaceutical Journal has won an Award of Excellence from The Society for News Design (SND) for the redesign of the print magazine. 

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the largest review of clinical trials to date has found no evidence of an increased risk of suicide or attempted suicide, suicidal ideation, depression or death in people taking the smoking cessation drug varenicline (Champix)

Neuropsychiatric review offers reassurance for smokers who quit using vareniclineSubscription

A meta-analysis of the smoking cessation drug varenicline has shown it is associated with an increased risk of sleep disorders and insomnia, but no evidence of an increased risk of suicide.

Recent study shows that 27% of 143 patients prescribed therapy for acne (in the image, a young person with acne vulgaris) did not collect all their prescribed medicines.

Study reveals high levels of non-adherence to acne treatmentsSubscription

A survey reveals that patients prescribed treatments for acne do not always adhere to their prescribed medicines.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), pictured, has little if any benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and causes an increase in the risk of stroke and venous thromboembolic events

HRT linked with increased stroke risk, conclude Cochrane reviewersSubscription

HRT has little if any benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and causes an increase in the risk of stroke and venous thromboembolic events.

More research briefing

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.

Could a probiotic pill cure diabetes?

Recent news stories have suggested that a new probiotic pill could cure both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, much more research is required before these claims can be substantiated, writes Pamela Mason.

Annoying noises and sound sensitivity

People with misophonia experience negative emotions when they hear specific sounds. Separately, phonophobia is the fear of loud sounds.

Swedish men can thank snus for health

Swedish men have the lowest level of tobacco-related deaths in Europe. This is likely to be due to their preference for low-nitrosamine oral tobacco (snus) over cigarettes.

The risks and benefits of eating seafood

Although eating fish is considered part of a healthy diet, Steve Bremer explains that consuming certain shellfish does come with its own risks.

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Unintended consequences of pharmacists working in GP practicesSubscription

I was most agreeably surprised when watching ‘Breakfast’ on BBC to learn that the Royal College of General Practitioners is recommending that every GP practice should have its own pharmacist. Also it was good to see the interview with a pharmacist working in such a practice. From what the pharmacist was saying, it would seem to be the ideal for all parties with the pharmacist managing many long-term patients. He also suggested that such arrangements would mop up the current surplus ...

We need to accredit pre-registration tutors Subscription

I am writing in response to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) overhaul of the registration assessment from June 2016. Having attended the GPhC’s stakeholder’s event in London on 3 March 2015, I liked what I saw with respect to the changes being proposed. This change is, indeed, long overdue and the trainees will have to move away from a surface learning approach, where the skill is to search and find information, to a deeper approach where they have to apply the information ...

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Reader's comment

NHS England have had 2 years to undertake an impact assessment, so there's small chance of them doing it over the next 2 weeks remaining. Central NHSE support for the various Area Teams, who have inherited LPS since they are not national contracts, has been conspicuous in its absence. As a result, the ATs themselves seem to be winging it as best they can, and existing LPS contractors are actually doing the research work NHSE should have done, as part of their new contract proposals.

Nick Ford RPS warns NHS England over withdrawal of funding for small pharmacies