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The worst outbreak of the fatal haemorrhagic Ebola virus disease started in the West African country Guinea, infected 17,942 individuals and killed 6,388 people as of 16 December

2014: The Pharmaceutical Journal's news in reviewSubscription

Looking back at some of the biggest news stories from the past year. 

The 20 largest research-based pharmaceutical companies are active in 75 developing countries in at least one of four areas: research and development; quality management in manufacturing; supply chain management; and pharmacovigilance.

Targeting disease in the developing worldSubscription

Pharmaceutical companies influence access to medicines in developing countries through the development of innovative and adapted products, operating equitable pricing strategies and building local capacity.

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

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.

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.

More CPD articles

Learning articles of the year: check your knowledge of subjects ranging from ebola to QT syndrome.

Highlights of CPD and learning in 2014Subscription

Try our clinical quiz, taken from this year’s learning articles, and check your knowledge of subjects ranging from Ebola to QT syndrome.


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.

More learning articles

Coevolution: changes to the Pharmaceutical Journal's content mirrors the changes occurring in the pharmacy practice

The coevolution of our content and pharmacySubscription

The changes to The Pharmaceutical Journal’s content mirror the changes occuring in pharmacy practice.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), Europe's medicines regulator, still has a long way to go in terms of transparency on clinical data

The European Medicines Agency still has a way to go towards clinical trial transparencySubscription


Loopholes in the new policy on publishing clinical study reports from the European Medicines Agency need to be closed.

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Career-based New Year’s resolutions: Become a pre-registration tutor

Seven career-based New Year’s resolutions that you should stick toSubscription

Struggling to think of New Year’s resolutions that you might actually keep? Emma Page provides some practical ideas for pledges that could give your career a boost.

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.

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Jocelyn Parkes

We need a united effort to tackle antibiotic resistanceSubscription


Pharmacists must work with local GPs to encourage prudent antimicrobial prescribing, says Jocelyn Parkes, director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.


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.

Your RPS

Molecular ruler

Bacteria’s protein machinery may offer antibiotic targetSubscription

Researchers have unveiled a snapshot of the molecular machinery that bacteria use to build polysaccharide chains that protect them from immune attack.

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

Carfilzomib gives survival benefits to patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (pictured)

Carfilzomib gives survival benefits to patients with relapsed multiple myelomaSubscription

Adding the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib to lenalidomide plus dexamethasone, the standard treatment for patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, significantly improves outcomes.

Crizotinib improves survival in patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, present in 3–5% of non–small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) (pictured), research finds

Crizotinib improves survival in patients with ALK-positive lung cancerSubscription

Patients with ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancers fare better when treated with the ALK inhibitor crizotinib than with standard chemotherapy, new research shows.

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.

Comments (1)

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.

Other blogs

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