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  • Busy hospital ward

    Sustainability and transformation plans: is pharmacy's voice being heard? Subscription

    Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) are the blueprints for the future of the NHS, setting out how 44 areas across England — identified as geographical STP ‘footprints’ — plan to get the best health outcomes for their populations from increasingly stretched financial resources.

  • Blank or white medicine blister pack

    Design for dispensing: how far can we go to make packaging safer? Subscription

    It is a decade since the National Patient Safety Agency issued guidance on medicines packaging design in a bid to reduce the risk of dispensing errors. But medicines that sound alike or look alike are still responsible for a large proportion of errors. A collaborative approach between manufacturers, regulators and pharmacy organisations is required to tackle the problem.

  • Illustration of the blood brain barrier

    A barrier to progress: getting drugs to the brain Subscription

    Getting drugs across the blood-brain barrier could be key to developing more successful therapies to treat central nervous system disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression and epilepsy. Scientists are investigating a number of ways to achieve this, from using Trojan horses to smuggle drugs across the barrier, to temporary disruption of the barrier using ultrasound, to allow drugs into the brain.

  • Blister packs of real and fake viagra

    Falsified Medicines Directive: opportunity or obstacle? Subscription

    Details surrounding the UK’s implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) have been clouded by the prospect of Brexit. It is now clear that the FMD will go ahead, but there are mixed views as to whether or not it will offer an efficient way to secure the medicines supply chain.

  • Big data concept

    Could big data be the future of pharmacy? Subscription

    The information gleaned from vast amounts of data presents a promising way to maximise the value of medicines, from identifying poor adherence to improving quality of prescribing. Projects in both the UK and the United States are doing just that.

  • Collage of smart inhaler with patient, doctor and mobile devices

    Smart inhalers: will they help to improve asthma care? Subscription

    Smart inhalers use Bluetooth technology to detect inhaler use, remind patients when to take their medication and gather data to help guide care. They have the potential to improve patients’ adherence to asthma therapies and keep their condition under control, but it is clear they need to be designed with health systems and patients in mind so that they can offer maximum benefit.

  • GP out of hours service sign

    New urgent drug supply scheme adds a layer of difficulty Subscription

    The new urgent medicines supply service takes the load off out-of-hours GP services, but adds bureaucracy for patients and pharmacists.

  • Illustration of network of pipes

    Understanding irritable bowel syndrome: bugs, brains and leaky barriers Subscription

    Research indicates that there are multiple causes for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and that most of them may involve the microbiome.

  • Illustration of a man trapped in a liquor bottle representing alcohol addiction

    Searching for new medicines to treat alcohol addiction Subscription

    Only a few drugs are licensed to treat alcoholism and, although reasonably effective, they are not suitable for everyone. Increased understanding of the underlying neuroscience of alcohol addiction is revealing a wealth of new possible drug targets, and a number of trials are under way.

  • Micrograph of human skin

    Atopic dermatitis: dupilumab and crisaborole could herald a new era in treatment Subscription

    Atopic dermatitis can have a devastating effect on quality of life, but there have been no major changes to the way it has been treated for over 15 years. Now, two new therapies — dupilumab, a biologic for severe disease, and crisaborole, a topical small molecule drug for milder disease — could herald a new era in the treatment of this distressing condition.

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