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Community pharmacists unlikely to face fitness to practice hearing if they report a patient safety incident that occurred in their pharmacy, says General Pharmaceutical Council

Regulator reassures community pharmacists over plan to name pharmacies in error reportsSubscription

Community pharmacists are unlikely to face a fitness-to-practise hearing if they report a patient safety incident that occurred in their pharmacy, regulators say.

June Raine, director of vigilance and risk management of medicines at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

UK regulator removes need to report all adverse drug reactions in childrenSubscription

It will no longer be compulsory for pharmacists, doctors and other healthcare professionals in the UK to report all suspected adverse drug reactions in children to the Yellow Card scheme, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has announced.

Long-term use of opioids as pain relief in chronic non-cancer conditions can have serious side effects and may be fatal, study by American Academy of Neurology suggests

US neurologists warn against long-term opioid use for non-cancer painSubscription

Half of patients taking opioids for at least three months are still taking them five years later, with long-term use associated with serious risk of overdose or addiction.

Unmanned ‘parcelcopter’ will deliver drugs and other urgent supplies to a remote island in the North Sea, a few miles off the coast of Germany

Drones to deliver drugs to remote German pharmacySubscription

An unmanned ‘parcelcopter’ will deliver drugs and other urgent supplies to a remote island in the North Sea, a few miles off the coast of Germany.

Anoro Ellipta, a novel inhaler containing a long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonist and a selective long-acting beta-2 adrenergic receptor,

Combination inhaler Anoro Ellipta launched for COPDSubscription

Anoro Ellipta, a novel inhaler containing a long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonist and a selective long-acting beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist, may find a limited place in therapy.

Patients receiving warfarin therapy should have access to blood clotting tests to monitor their coagulation status

Patients taking warfarin should self-monitor their coagulation status, says NICESubscription

NICE recommends two point-of-care coagulometers for use by patients – Roche Diagnostic’s CoaguChek XS system and Alere’s INRatio2 PT/INR monitor.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to be extended to teenage boys

UK considers adding boys to HPV vaccination programmeSubscription

Public health authorities are considering whether boys should receive the HPV vaccine.

Nepalese child receives polio vaccine. Nepal is the first poor nation to protect children against polio with Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)

Nepal adopts inactivated polio vaccineSubscription

Nepal is to become the country to incorporate inactivated polio vaccine into routine childhood vaccination programmes with the support of GAVI.

Patients more likely to stick to generic statins rather than brand-name statins, says study

Patients more likely to stick to using generic rather than brand-name statins, US study suggestsSubscription

The use of generic statins generally led to better health outcomes for patients than those using brand-name drugs, a study showed – because the lower cost of the generic version usually meant better adherence. 

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

NICE puts brakes on its planned overhaul of drugs evaluation processesSubscription

England’s health technology body will not push ahead with its proposed introduction of value-based assessments — including burden of illness and societal impact — in the evaluation of new drugs for use by the NHS.

Antibiotics made available to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

New antibiotic for hospital-acquired pneumonia now available in EuropeSubscription

The antibiotic telavancin (Vibativ) has been made available in Europe for the treatment of adults who have contracted pneumonia in hospital, including ventilator associated pneumonia, caused by meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

John Cromarty, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB)

Scottish Pharmacy Board seeks assurances from UK parties following referendum voteSubscription

John Cromarty, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Scottish Pharmacy Board, has asked for assurances that all stakeholders will be consulted on any decisions affecting pharmacy or healthcare in Scotland following vote to remain a part of the UK.

Afghan boy gets polio vaccination - number of deaths among children drops, says UN

Report finds ‘dramatic’ reduction in the number of childhood deaths between 1990 and 2013Subscription

The number of deaths among children under five years of age fell by 49% worldwide between 1990 and 2013, according to Unicef, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

Community pharmacists disappointed with settlement on new pharmacy contract

Community pharmacies to lose out in new £2.8bn funding dealSubscription

The settlement includes £2bn, which will be delivered in fees and allowances, with the remaining £800m to be delivered through agreed drug purchase margins.  

Dabrafenib would be the second melanoma drug targeting the BRAF V600 mutation to be available on the NHS.

New melanoma treatment approved by NICESubscription

The National Institute for Health and care Excellence has issued draft guidance recommending that dabrafenib should be available on the NHS for the treatment of melanoma that has spread or can’t be completely removed by surgery in patients with a BRAF gene mutation. 

The General Pharmaceutical Council is taking a court ruling that overturned a fitness-to-practice ruling to the Supreme Court in London

Pharmacy regulator wants to overturn Scottish judgementSubscription

The General Pharmaceutical Council is appealing against the decision by three senior Scottish judges to overturn a fitness to practise ruling, will go to the Supreme Court in order to clarify its disciplinary options. 

Prescription counter at Boots pharmacy with a pharmacist

Pharmacists are advised to store Buscopan and baclofen separately to avoid errorsSubscription

Several occurrences of patients being given the wrong medicine has led to a recommendation that Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide) and baclofen be stored separately. 

Muscle relaxant Atracurium is thought to cause of deaths link to polio vaccination programme in Syria

Measles vaccine suspected of adulteration linked to the deaths of 15 children in SyriaSubscription

At least 15 children have died in Syria during a measles vaccination programme after a muscle relaxant, atracurium, was believed to have been added to the vaccine instead of diluents. 

The date professional registration assessment in the summer 2015 for pharmacy students may be rescheduled to allow Muslim students to observe Ramadan.

Pharmacy exam date may change for Ramadan, says General Pharmaceutical CouncilSubscription

The professional registration exam may be rescheduled next year to allow Muslim students to observe Ramadan.

Other news

Timeline of the ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014

A visual guide to the Ebola virus epidemic Subscription

As the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic continues to escalate, we chart the latest epidemiological data alongside an insight into the pathology of Ebola virus disease and the biological processes being targeted by drug and vaccine developers.

Aspirin is one of the most common drugs with an estimated 700 to 1,000 clinical trials conducted each year

A history of aspirinSubscription

Aspirin was one of the first drugs to come into common usage and it still one of the most researched drugs in the world, with an estimated 700 to 1,000 clinical trials conducted each year.


Still feeling the Vioxx painSubscription

Ten years after Vioxx was abruptly withdrawn from the market, its story is still affecting society’s perception of the drug regulatory system and the safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Statins linked to increase risk of diabetes and weight gain, research says

Statin target linked to increased risk of diabetes and weight gainSubscription

Inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase is partly responsible for the increased risk of type 2 diabetes seen with statin treatment.

E-coli ribosome structure, a number of drug candidates inhibit growth of the bacteria by inhibition of the ribosome, study finds

Anticonvulsant lamotrigine could have antibiotic promise, researchers suggestSubscription

Researchers have found that some bacteria cannot create a complete ribosome in the presence of lamotrigine.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 2–5% of school-age children and young people

Only a quarter of children on ADHD drugs given psychotherapy in the United StatesSubscription

New research suggests that few children in the United States taking ADHD medication are also receiving psychotherapy.

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus

New approach to target antimicrobial resistanceSubscription

A new antimicrobial approach is proposed that imposes direct evolutionary pressure at the gene level.

More research briefing

Special report

FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2014

FIP International conference, Bangkok 2014

Just under 2,000 attendees gathered in Bangkok for the 74th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (31 August-4 September). The theme of this year’s congress is “Access to medicines and pharmacists today, better outcomes tomorrow”.

Read the special report


Should pharmacies stock e-cigarettes?

View poll results

Miles Mack, from Royal College of General Practitioners and Jonathan Burton, from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, on their collaboration

Working together for the benefit of healthcare professionals, patients and the publicSubscription

By ,

Jonathan Burton and Miles Mack provide a summary of the recent collaborative work between the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

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Panel at the Pharmacy Show

Highlights of The Pharmacy Show

Taking a look at the best bits of the upcoming show.

Jobs from PJ careers

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