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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 medicinesSubscription


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, cabinet secretary for health, well-being and sport

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 accreditationSubscription

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

rps elections ballot box illustration 17

What relevant experience or expertise from your professional background will you bring to the RPS pharmacy board?Subscription

The results of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) national pharmacy board elections are due to be announced at the end of May 2017. To get to know this year’s candidates and find out more about what they stand for, The Pharmaceutical Journal asked for responses to two questions.

rps elections hand holding ballot papers illustration 17

If you are elected to the RPS pharmacy board, what will be your top two priorities?Subscription

The results of the RPS national pharmacy board elections are due to be announced at the end of May 2017. In order to get to know this year’s candidates and find out more about what they stand for, The Pharmaceutical Journal asked for responses to two questions. In the first of the two questions, the candidates explain what their top two priorities will be if they are elected to the RPS pharmacy board.  (Of the 23 candidates standing for election, 22 provided responses). 

Illustration of a hand putting vote in ballot box

It’s RPS national board election time againSubscription

By Alex MacKinnon

Alex MacKinnon, interim chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, makes a plea for members to use their vote in the 2017 national board elections.

Houses of Parliament, London

House of Lords committee recognises 'clear case' for pharmacists in integrated care teamsSubscription

A House of Lords select committee has recognised the contribution pharmacists can make to proposed primary and community care reform.

Pharmacist serving a patient

Emergency supply 'mythbuster' addresses misconceptionsSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published a new emergency supply “mythbuster”.

RPS expresses concerns over "unintended consequences" of NHS England expenditure reviewSubscription

28 March 2017: NHS England has announced a review of “low value” prescription items, with a view to cutting NHS expenditure. The review aims to develop guidelines for clinical commissioning groups around an initial set of ten medicines deemed “ineffective, unnecessary or inappropriate for the NHS”. NHS England say the items, which include gluten-free foods, could be purchased over the counter by the patient, rather than being issued by prescription.

Alex MacKinnon, interim chief executive of the RPS

NICE accredits RPS process for developing professional standards and guidanceSubscription

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has accredited the process used by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to develop its professional standards and guidance.

John Betts, curator of the Museum of the RPS, speaks with tour delegates

RPS museum promoted at the British Society for the History of Pharmacy's annual conferenceSubscription

The first day of the British Society for the History of Pharmacy’s annual conference was hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and included a presentation and guided tour by John Betts, keeper of the museum collections.

Homepage of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's newly relaunched website

Royal Pharmaceutical Society launches new website Subscription


After two years of development and testing, the new Royal Pharmaceutical Society website is now live.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society headquarters on East Smithfield, east London

RPS to update professional standards for hospital pharmacySubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is updating its professional standards for hospital pharmacy services.

Paul Bennett, who will take up his appointment of chief executive in July 2017

Royal Pharmaceutical Society appoints ex-Boots superintendent as chief executiveSubscription

Paul Bennett, a pharmacist with professional and commercial leadership expertise across local and national pharmaceutical bodies, has accepted the role of chief executive.

Welsh Parliament building in Cardiff

Welsh parliamentary review of health and social care — RPS members invited to contribute Subscription

The Welsh government is undertaking a parliamentary review into the long-term future of health and social care in Wales.

Award recipients and sponsors from the Pharmacist Support Hero Awards 2017

RPS fundraisers recognised at Pharmacist Support Hero Awards 2017Subscription

RPS receives “Go Green Hero” award during a ceremony held at Apothecaries’ Hall on 23 March 2017

Copper intrauterine device

RPS issues updated guidance on emergency contraceptionSubscription


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has updated its own guidance on emergency contraception, in response to new Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare guidelines on prescribing of emergency contraception.

Maree Todd, MSP and pharmacist, and Aileen Bryson, interim director for RPS Scotland

Bringing the pharmacy profession into the Scottish ParliamentSubscription


Representatives of Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Scotland, including Aileen Bryson, interim director, held a three-day exhibition at Holyrood.

Robbie Turner, director for England at the RPS

Sustainability and transformation plan (STP) leads urged to involve pharmacists following £325m budget announcementSubscription


Robbie Turner, director for England at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, has written to all 44 STP leads emphasising the urgent need for pharmacist involvement following budget announcements

Pharmacist goes through prescription medicines in a pharmacy

Prescription Charges Coalition launches survey into long-term conditions Subscription


The Prescription Charges Coalition (PCC), a body of over 40 organisations including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), has launched a survey investigating the impact of prescription charges on people in England with long-term conditions.

Alex MacKinnon receives the Scottish Pharmacy Award

Alex MacKinnon receives 'Outstanding Contribution to Pharmacy' award Subscription


Source: Chris Watt Photography From left to right: Harry McQuillan, chief executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland, Alex MacKinnon interim chief executive of the Royal ...

Online antibiotic prescriptions: face-to-face should not be replacedSubscription

Neal Patel, head of corporate communications at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), spoke to The Independent to express the RPS’s concern over online sales of antibiotics.

Mair Davies, RPS director for Wales

RPS director for Wales: 'There’s a collaborative approach to everything in Wales'


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Welsh Pharmacy Board launched its manifesto in November 2015. Mair Davies, director for RPS Wales, talks to Julia Robinson about progress made since the launch, and her objectives for 2017 and beyond.


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

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