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The Pharmaceutical Journal


Lady Justice at the Old Bailey in London

No more delays with rebalancing medicines legislation and pharmacy regulationSubscription

We need fewer empty promises and more action and progress with rebalancing medicines legislation and pharmacy regulation — particularly around dispensing errors.


Illustration of legal scales

Why pharmacists need to re-evaluate what information they provide to patientsSubscription

By ,

Previous court cases concerning informed consent of treatment have raised questions about what consent means in relation to pharmacists, medicines and prescribing.


From left (top), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Flavia Bustreo, Philippe Douste-Blazy, (bottom) David Nabarro, Sania Nishtar and Miklós Szócska

Q&A: WHO director-general candidates’ views on global healthSubscription


Six candidates in the race to be director-general of the World Health Organization outline their priorities and vision for global health.

Learning article

Health worker holding a dying patient's hand

Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carersSubscription

By , ,

Pharmacists are becoming increasingly involved in palliative care and can be a source of important information and support for patients at the end of life. Health professionals caring for patients with advanced illness should develop skills for communicating with patients, and their families and carers.

Woman holds a positive pregnancy test

Preconception care: dietary and lifestyle adviceSubscription

By ,

Engagement by women with a pharmacist or healthcare professional for preconception advice and care ranges from 18% to 45%. Pharmacists are uniquely placed to provide this advice when individuals present for new registration checks, well-woman consultations, contraceptive advice and reviews, as well as medicine use reviews.


Members of the team at Warman-Freed pharmacy

How pharmacists can boost sales of over-the-counter medicines


Joanna Mills, consumer and influencer insight manager at specialist over-the-counter pharmaceutical company Perrigo, uses examples from Warman-Freed pharmacy in London to explain how pharmacists can increase their sales of non-prescription products.

Call centre desks

What pharmacists do at NHS 111Subscription


Saša Jankovic finds out how pharmacists play an integral role at the non-emergency medical helpline for England and Scotland.

Rachel Macdonald, professional services pharmacist for PCT Healthcare Ltd

How Rachel Macdonald got involved in research in a community pharmacySubscription


Rachel Macdonald, professional services pharmacist for PCT Healthcare Ltd, recently participated in the Salford Lung Study in community pharmacy.


The new oral anticoagulant drugs Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban and Apixaban pills and pill boxes

Safety issues highlighted with newer oral anticoagulant drugs

Analysis of ‘real-life’ data comparing newer direct oral anticoagulants with warfarin has identified adverse drug reactions (ADRs) ‘not previously associated’ with the new treatments, including hip fracture.

Toddler using an inhaler

Heartburn drug use during pregnancy associated with asthma in children

A new study shows that children born to women who take heartburn medicines when pregnant are at least a third more likely to develop asthma symptoms compared with non-users, but scientists say more research is needed to confirm whether there are any other reasons behind the possible link.

vaughan gething wales welsh wales health secretary

Treatment fund launched in Wales for newly approved drugs

An £80m new treatment fund to pay for high-cost drugs approved for use on the NHS in Wales has been launched.

Scottish government building in Edinburgh

Scottish government confirms commitment to GP practice role for pharmacists

The Scottish government has reiterated its commitment for 140 prescribing pharmacists to work directly with general practices by the end of 2018.

Patients waiting in GP waiting room

NHS England announces extra £112m for expansion of GP-based pharmacist scheme

NHS England has announced it will supply an additional £112m investment to roll out a pilot scheme embedding clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries.

Dispensary shelves in a pharmacy

Similar branding partly blamed for ‘devastating’ dispensing error

An “overworked” community pharmacist, who pleaded guilty to dispensing the wrong drug to a patient who later died, has been sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for two years.

News in Brief

Alex MacKinnon, acting chief executive of the RPS

Alex MacKinnon, director for Scotland, to act as interim chief executive of RPSSubscription

18 JAN 2017By

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society RPS president Martin Astbury says Alex MacKinnon is “delighted to accept the acting up arrangement”

Person using inhaler

New inhaler standards endorsed by RPSSubscription

18 JAN 2017By

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has endorsed a new set of inhaler standards developed by the UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) — a coalition of not-for-profit organisations and professional societies with a common interest in promoting the correct use of inhaled therapies.

Ian Strachan, chair of the National Pharmacy Association

Two legal cases against pharmacy cuts to be heard jointly in March 2017

16 JAN 2017

The UK High Court will consider two legal actions against the government’s decision to cut community pharmacy funding in a hearing set for March 2017.

Karen Baxter, director of the BNF

BNF receives NICE accreditation

13 JAN 2017By

Source: PharmPress The BNF has now been accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 

Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE

Kidney cancer drug to be funded by NHS after manufacturer cuts price

12 JAN 2017

Everolimus has been recommended for use in the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence after its manufacturer, Novartis, cuts its price.

Young woman taking a pill

US agency reaffirms folic acid advice for women planning pregnancy

11 JAN 2017

The US Preventive Services Task Force has reaffirmed its 2009 advice that all women who are planning or capable of pregnancy should take a daily supplement of folic acid of between 0.4mg and 0.8mg to reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt

Hunt denies community pharmacy funding cuts will deepen NHS crisis

11 JAN 2017

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied that the government’s decision to cut the community pharmacy budget in England will deepen the current NHS crisis.

The Food and Drug Administration

FDA approves nusinersen for use in rare genetic condition

3 JAN 2017

The first drug approved to treat patients with the potentially fatal genetic disease spinal muscular atrophy has been approved for use in the United States.

Pharmacy shelves

Australia tightens restrictions over codeine-containing medicines

23 DEC 2016By

Products containing codeine will no longer be available over the counter in Australia following a review by its medicine’s regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The Pharmaceutical Journal

January 2017, Vol 298, No 7897

Cover Story:

Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carers

Read more…

The Pharmaceutical Journal

View previous issue

Your RPS

Inaugural RPS Research Fellows Forum: registration now openSubscription

Research-active pharmacists and pharmacy professionals are invited to attend the first Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Research Fellows Forum, which will take place on 10 October 2017 at the Society’s London headquarters.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society logo

CQC inspection teams should include pharmacists, according to RPS EnglandSubscription

All Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectorates should include a pharmacist with professional and clinical oversight of medicines issues, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in England has said.

Local practice forum event in London from 2016

A new look for local engagementSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has begun implementing changes in local practice forums, encouraging board members to act as links between local groups and the Society and transferring local group bank accounts to the Society for central management.

Nuremberg weights showing five nested cups lines in a row

Precision medicines — Renaissance-styleSubscription

As the practice of apothecary became more skilled in the 15th and 16th centuries, standardized weights were needed to ensure accurate dispensing.

older patient being transferred from healthcare setting

Pharmacists must be core part of integrated health and social care, says RPS ScotlandSubscription

The RPS in Scotland has expressed concern at the lack of a “clear policy” on the care of patients transferring between healthcare settings, and says that pharmacist expertise should be at the core of such a policy.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society logo

All community pharmacy staff should get the flu vaccine, RPS saysSubscription

All community pharmacy staff should receive the influenza vaccine as part of a move to increase uptake of the vaccine more widely, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society logo

RPS releases guidance for OTC supply of antimalarials Subscription

Pharmacists supplying antimalarial prophylaxis over the counter can now refer to a new quick reference guide produced by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Back of graduates with graduation hats

A survival guide to your preregistration training Subscription

By Rachel Joynes, Marianna Liaskou

The transition from university to preregistration training can be daunting. As the new training year begins Marianna Liaskou, pharmacist and research administrator at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), and Rachel Joynes, head of research and evaluation at the RPS, discuss the support available from the Society during your preregistration year.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society logo

RPS publishes full response to GPhC revalidation surveySubscription

There is a risk of peer discussion becoming “a tick-box exercise that does not deliver assurance or professional development”, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said in response to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) consultation on proposed changes to revalidation.

medicines ethics and practice mep 41 17

MEP 41: guidance on new psychoactive substances and updates to continuing professional developmentSubscription

Edition 41 of Medicines, Ethics and Practice will be distributed with the July issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal and will be available to download from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website from 31 July 2017.


RPS antimicrobial experts take to the airwavesSubscription

Antibiotics experts from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have featured across the media today, in response to a British Medical Journal  article that questioned established advice to always complete a course of antibiotics.

scottish care homes 22 17

Improving Pharmaceutical Care in Care Homes: RPS Scotland seeks feedbackSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland (RPS Scotland) is asking members for help as it launches a refresh of its 2012 report, ’Improving Pharmaceutical Care in Care Homes’.

Feedback wanted: update to Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy ServicesSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is currently reviewing its Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy Services, and is seeking member feedback on the draft updates.

rps scot elec records ss 17

RPS Scotland tells Government: 'digital divide' and access to records must be addressedSubscription

Community pharmacist access to patients’ electronic health records is now an “urgent patient safety concern”, according to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Scotland.

rps annual conf rps 17

RPS 2017 Annual Conference now free to membersSubscription

All Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) members will now be able to attend the Society’s 2017 annual conference free of charge. Those who have already paid are currently being refunded. In a statement, the RPS said that the free places had been made possible through extra sponsorship funding.

Ash Soon, newly re-elected president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

Ash Soni returns to RPS presidencySubscription

Community pharmacist Ash Soni has again been elected as president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Alasdair Angus Macintyre, Deborah Alice Stafford and Jonathan Burton

Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting: 14 June 2017Subscription

The Scottish Pharmacy Board held its third meeting of the year in June 2017, at Holyrood Park House, Edinburgh. Improving the pharmaceutical care of people in care homes, patient consent and how to increase the number of nominations for Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society were the topics of debate.

high quality cannabis plant

Medicinal use of cannabis: RPS seeks pharmacists' viewsSubscription

A new survey into pharmacists’ views on the medicinal use of cannabis has been launched by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Creamware advertising model for Bears Grease, Staffordshire, 1799–1818

Bear fat: pharmacy's first leave-in conditionerSubscription

Bear’s grease became a popular hair-restoring pomade during the second half of the 1700s, when the wearing of wigs fell out of fashion.

ash soni landscape 16

Ash Soni elected president of Royal Pharmaceutical Society Subscription

Ash Soni has been elected as the new president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in an RPS Assembly meeting held at the Society’s London headquarters on 18 July 2017.


For official announcements from The Royal Pharmaceutical society please visit the announcements page here.

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