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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 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

Suzanne Scott Thomas Royal Pharmaceutical Society Welsh pharmacy board

Suzanne Scott-Thomas re-affirmed as chair of Welsh Pharmacy BoardSubscription

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society Suzanne-Scott Thomas, newly re-appointed chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Welsh Pharmacy Board, said: ”I know I am in ...

Head shot Rachel Joynes head of the RPS research team

Unlocking the potential of the RPS museumSubscription

UK academics collaborate with RPS museum team on interdisciplinary study of skincare products for Arts and Humanities Research Council.

John McAnaw begins third term as Scottish Pharmacy Board chairSubscription

John McAnaw has been re-affirmed as chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB). Beginning his third term, McAnaw said that he is “delighted and humbled” to have received the support of his colleagues once again.

hospital pharmacy shelves

Hospital Expert Advisory Group assist with latest NHS pharmacy benchmarking exerciseSubscription

The 2017 Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation benchmarking project opened for data collection on 2 June 2017.

What's the 'right' dose of a food supplement? Subscription

6 June 2017: Neal Patel, RPS spokesperson and pharmacist, appeared on Channel 4’s consumer programme Supershoppers to talk about the ‘right dose’ of vitamins and food supplements. Explaining why there is variation across retailers in the recommended doses of supplements like evening primrose oil, omega-3 fish oil and vitamin-B complex, Patel told viewers: “Supplements are regulated in the same way as foods, so they don’t have to have the same accurate dose as medicines.

head shot Sandra Gidley chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board

Chair of the English Pharmacy Board reiterates need for government relationship with RPS Subscription

The result of the UK general election offers the Government “an opportunity to reset and rebuild its relationship with community pharmacy”, according to Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board.

Pharmacists link health and social careSubscription

Thorrun Govind, a locum pharmacist from Bolton and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), provided a pharmacy angle to the BBC’s coverage of the General Election. During the 6pm news bulletin, Govind was interviewed from the pharmacy where she is currently working. “We’re helping bridge the gap between health and social care and we want to go on providing the resource that we do,” she said.  

Turn to pharmacists for help with weight managementSubscription

20 May 2017: Deborah Evans, a member of the English Pharmacy Board, was interviewed on Talk Radio about the dangers of ’miracle cures’ for weight loss. Deborah discussed the myths around remedies that promise instant results, and warned listeners not to buy products online without getting advice first. “Don’t buy anything on the internet – you don’t know what you are going to get,” Evans said. “Go to a registered pharmacy and speak to a pharmacist who can help you with managing your ...

Excellence should be the normSubscription

22 May 2017: Aileen Bryson, acting director of RPS Scotland, wrote an opinion piece for Scotland on Sunday outlining how pharmacists could contribute to relieving the pressure on GP services. In her piece, Bryson said: “There are many areas of excellence in practice and innovation across Scotland which we must strive to make the norm in both secondary and primary care to improve patient safety, patient care and the patient journey.”

Pharmacists can help reduce medicines wasteSubscription

29 May 2017: Mair Davies, director of RPS Wales, spoke to the Western Mail after new statistics showed that the cost of prescriptions in Wales had dropped for the first time in four years but the number of items prescribed per head remains the highest in the UK. “By regularly advising patients on getting the most from their medicines, we know that pharmacists are also playing an important role in reducing medicines waste and contributing to overall efforts across Wales to improve ...

head shot nadia bukhari 2017

RPS pharmacy board election results 2017: Votes down as new faces join old handsSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has announced the results of its 2017 national pharmacy board elections. Elections were held in England, Scotland and Wales.

Mair Davies and Suzanne-Scott Thomas, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Primary care clusters: RPS Wales gives evidence to Welsh Assembly committee Subscription

RPS representatives Mair Davies and Suzanne Scott-Thomas were invited to the Senedd to discuss the benefits of multidisciplinary working.

John Betts, keeper of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) museum

Q&A: John Betts, keeper of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society museumSubscription

John Betts, keeper of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) museum since 2010, speaks to Corrinne Burns about the latest activities of the museum team — including a new app, free to download now from the iTunes store.

Some participants of the whywedoresearch #WhyWeDoResearch Tweetfest 2017

#WhyWeDoResearch Tweetchat explores how research improves patient careSubscription

The first session of the #WhyWeDoResearch Tweetfest 2017, curated by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK) and WePharmacists, discussed “Research and evidence in pharmacy: engaging to improve patient care”.

Close up of woman using oxygen tubes in nose

RPS endorses new guidelines on emergency oxygen useSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has endorsed new British Thoracic Society guidelines on the use of emergency oxygen, which is prescribed to treat hypoxaemia. The ...

'Ask the Pharmacist': RPS member part of expert panel on new Daily Mail advice columnSubscription

23 May 2017: The Daily Mail has introduced a new weekly ‘Ask the Pharmacist’ column, in collaboration with LloydsPharmacy. In his first column, Colin Dougall — a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) — responded to a query about medicines storage.

Screengrab of the RPS election candidates hustings webinar

RPS Elections 2017: Candidates face questions in hustings webinarSubscription

Thirteen candidates for this year’s English and Scottish Pharmacy Board elections took part in a hustings webinar hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on the evening of 16 May 2017.


New RPS 'Here For You' initiative celebrates the relationship between pharmacists and their patientsSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has launched an initiative aimed at inspiring pharmacists and imbuing them with “a feeling of pride and satisfaction for the service they provide to patients on a daily basis”.

Partnership, handshake

Why pharmacists need advanced practice specialist residences: the UK–Australia storySubscription

By , Ian Bates, Michael Dooley, Ian Coombes, Kristin Michaels

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has signed a partnership agreement with the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia, a national professional membership body in Australia representing over 4,500 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in training working in Australia’s hospitals and other clinical healthcare settings.

Delegates at the second annual conference of the Humanitarian Aid and Response Network (HARN)

Cold chains and cool heads: why humanitarian aid needs pharmacistsSubscription

The second annual conference of the Humanitarian Aid and Response Network (HARN), held in Brighton on 8 April 2017, brought together humanitarian pharmacists and pharmacy students with a shared interest in international aid work.


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

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