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Pharmacy organisations have been actively pushing for the decriminalisation of dispensing errors since the Lee case, which was heard at the Old Bailey (pictured) in 2009

Proposals to ‘decriminalise’ dispensing errors may not prevent prosecution for inadvertent mistakesSubscription

New proposals seek to end the threat of prosecution for inadvertent dispensing errors but there are concerns that pharmacists will not be fully protected when they make an honest mistake.

Palestinian Refugee Camp Burj Barajneh in Beirut, Lebanon. humanitarian bodies not only face the obvious security risks of reaching people in need, they also have to deal with the growing bureaucracy involved in getting medicines to them.

Supplying medicines to refugees: a logistical nightmareSubscription

During conflicts, humanitarian bodies not only face the obvious security risks of reaching people in need, they also have to deal with the growing bureaucracy involved in getting medicines to them.

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

Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of red blood cells. Iron deficiency anaemia is usually related to low intake of iron

Iron deficiency anaemia: basic managementSubscription

Test your knowledge with this case study on a common condition with non-specific symptoms.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS). In the image, Fluorescent light micrograph of a section through a spinal cord affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

Multiple sclerosis: identification and managementSubscription

How to treat the symptoms of the most common cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults.

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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.

Coloured magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain, in profile, of a 35 year old woman with multiple sclerosis (MS)

Tizanidine interactionsSubscription

Careful titration of the skeletal muscle relaxant tizanidine is required to avoid dose-related hypotension, and its serum levels can be increased by drugs that inhibit CYP1A2.

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Carl Djerassi (1923–2015), inventor of the birth control pill

Carl Djerassi (1923–2015)Subscription

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The inventor of the birth control pill Carl Djerassi was a self-declared workaholic and a keen art collector.

'Drugs in sport 6th edition’, edited by David R. Mottram and Neil Chester

Learn about doping in sportsSubscription

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‘Drugs in sport’, edited by David R. Mottram and Neil Chester.

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Pharmacists with their eye on a good or excellent rating from the pharmacy inspector may benefit from a refit

Design features to consider before refitting your pharmacySubscription

Pharmacists with their eye on a good or excellent rating from the pharmacy inspector may benefit from a refit, finds Ailsa Colquhoun.

Sue Alldred is a care homes pharmacist at Leeds South and East CCG

Setting up a pre-registration placement at a clinical commissioning groupSubscription

Pharmacists in Leeds have created a new pre-registration placement, where trainees split their time between a clinical commissioning group (CCG) and a hospital. Sue Alldred, care homes pharmacist at Leeds South and East CCG, describes the process.

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Women pharmacists’ network to highlight gender-specific issues in pharmacySubscription

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New online forum will act as a platform to share advice and promote female leadership in pharmacy.

RPS wins award for campaign to promote pharmacists' role in urgent careSubscription

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The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has won a PR award for its campaign to promote pharmacists’ role in urgent care this winter.

Your RPS

The global consumption of methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant used for the treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, increased by 66% in 2013

Narcotics monitoring board reports 66% increase in global consumption of methylphenidateSubscription

The global consumption of methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant primarily used for the treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, has increased by 66%, a report finds.

EMA recommends approval for advanced lung cancer agent ceritinib Subscription

The European Medicines Agency has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for ceritinib (Zykadia) for ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer in adults with advanced disease.

Crowdfunding is being sought by scientists to support an imaging study showing the effects of LSD on the brain.

Scientists use crowdfunding to boost research into LSD effects on the brainSubscription

Scientists have turned to crowdfunding to support an imaging study showing the effects of LSD on the brain, the first to be conducted in the UK.

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The number of smokers who have quit smoking through the NHS Stop Smoking Service is projected to halve this year in England. In the image, a teenager receives information on smoking cessation products

Number of smokers using NHS services to quit halves, report findsSubscription

The number of smokers who have quit smoking through the NHS Stop Smoking Service is projected to halve in England in 2014–2015, according to a report.

Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that information about patients’ medicines should ideally be shared within 24 hours to maintain patient safety. In the image, GP consulting with patient

Healthcare professionals urged to share information about patients’ medicinesSubscription

Information about a patient’s medicines should be shared by health and social care staff when that person moves from one care setting to another, urges new guidance.

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Tuberculosis (TB) bacteria release a section of DNA, a virus-mimicking molecule called c-di-AMP, and its behaviour offers drug and vaccine possibilities. In the image, micrograph of the TB bacteria

Virus-mimicking TB may offer therapeutic opportunitiesSubscription

A study shows that TB bacteria release a section of DNA, a virus-mimicking molecule called c-di-AMP, and its behaviour offers drug and vaccine possibilities.

Patients with high and intermediate genetic risk for coronary heart disease benefit more from statin therapy than patients at low genetic risk, researchers have shown.

Genetic risk for coronary events linked to statin responseSubscription

Patients with high and intermediate genetic risk for coronary heart disease benefit more from statin therapy than patients at low genetic risk, researchers have shown.

Scientists have identified a potent modulator of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels from spider venom, which could hold promise as a new analgesic.

Researchers look to spider venom for new analgesicsSubscription

Scientists have identified a potent modulator of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels from spider venom, which could hold promise as a new analgesic.

More research briefing

Lady in the Bar from Group of 70 Police Photographs at ‘Forensics: the anatomy of crime’, at the Wellcome Collection, London

Dissecting forensics: review of an exhibition

A new exhibition, ‘Forensics: the anatomy of crime’, at the Wellcome Collection, London, aims to examine the forensic procedure from the crime scene to the courtroom. Emma Page takes a look.

sigma-conference-india-business-15

Five tips to change your pharmacy from a “shop” to a “healthcare business”

In a skit at Sigma conference in Aamby Valley City, John Zucker and Ash Pandya discussed how to make changes to your pharmacy. Emma Page describes their advice.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals conference in Aambay Valley City, India

Make small, practical changes at a local level to benefit your customers

The annual Sigma conference, this year held in Aamby Valley City, India, provided an opportunity for pharmacists to discuss how to improve their pharmacies for the benefit of their patients and their businesses.

My placement at the Spinal Injury Centre in India

Pharmacy student Rutendo Muzambi describes her experience of working at a spinal injury centre in New Delhi, India

Making our patients feel cared for

Lack of time is not an excuse for not being empathetic towards patients.

Other blogs

Drug shortage problem needs to be tackled internationallySubscription

I wish to comment on Ingrid Torjesen’s interesting news story on tackling ongoing drug shortages (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:234). Manufacturers ...

The way pharmacists work will not changeSubscription

I wish to comment on Brian Curwain’s letter on the government’s proposal to decriminalise dispensing errors (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:211). I am not convinced that the decriminalisation of dispensing ...

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Clare Gerada, GP and chairman of Clinical Board, Primary Care Transformation, NHS England (London Region)

Q&A: How do GPs view the role of pharmacists in the NHS?Subscription

19 FEB 2015By

London-based GP Clare Gerada is chairman of Clinical Board, Primary Care Transformation, NHS England (London Region). But she is probably best known for her work as chairman of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners, a post she held for three years. She shares her thoughts on the role pharmacy should play in UK healthcare.

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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