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Clinical trials and the rules that govern them are coming under pressure for an overhaul. In the image, a researcher checks storage of samples in freezer

Clinical trials and tribulationsSubscription

A shake-up of the way clinical trials are conducted is on the horizon, with the aim of improving access to medicines.

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According to a recent study, even when older men are successfully treated for their erectile dysfunction, their increases in sexual activity and sexual function aren’t always reflected in satisfaction with sex and relationships

Erectile dysfunction treatments leave men unsatisfiedSubscription

Drugs developed to improve erectile dysfunction have improved sexual function and activity in 80% of users, but did not translate into satisfaction with sex and relationships for older men, a study has found.

Melanoma therapy that targets PD-1 recommended for EU approvalSubscription

The European Medicines Agency has recommended granting a marketing authorisation for new melanoma treatment nivolumab.

Scientists have created a therapy that could outsmart cancer cells (pictured) that are immune to certain treatments, according to a recent study

New therapy to tackle treatment-resistant cancersSubscription

Scientists have developed a therapy that could outsmart cancer cells that have become immune to certain treatments, according to a study published in Cancer Cell.

Skin cancer drug fast tracked under early access scheme

Clinical Pharmacist’s monthly news round-up: the top 10 in the past monthSubscription

What has been happening in the world of pharmacy? Here’s our pick of must-read news from the past month.

Interferon beta and glatiramer acetate each reduce disability progression by 24-40% in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and were found to be cost-effective. In the image, a brain scan of a patient with MS

Interferon beta and glatiramer acetate are cost-effective treatments for multiple sclerosisSubscription

Interferon beta and glatiramer acetate each reduce disability progression by 24-40% in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to a study published in The Lancet Neurology.

Prescription analysis tool allows pharmacists to benchmark performanceSubscription

A new prescription analysis system for community pharmacists in the UK has been launched by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the National Pharmacy Association.

Oral insulin powder was given to children with a high genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes, as part of a phase I clinical trial, which researchers claim brings them a step closer to a vaccine

At-risk children given oral insulin to develop diabetes immunitySubscription

Oral insulin powder was given to children with a high genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes, as part of a phase I clinical trial, which researchers claim brings them a step closer to a vaccine.

UK pharmacy regulator issues guidance on services not provided face to faceSubscription

The General Pharmaceutical Council has issued guidance on the provision of non-traditional services when patients may not have face-to-face contact with a pharmacist.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) offers an alternative to maintenance antidepressant medication but is not superior, according to recent research

Mindfulness-based CBT offers alternative to antidepressantsSubscription

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy offers an alternative to maintenance antidepressant medication but is not superior, according to new research.

ellaOne emergency contraception available for sale through UK pharmaciesSubscription

Women are now able to buy the emergency contraceptive ellaOne (ulipristal acetate, 30mg) from UK pharmacies without a prescription, its manufacturer has confirmed.

A team of researchers has developed a platform to screen new drug compounds by detecting their effect on the activity of enzymes called kinases (pictured), which help regulate biological pathways in healthy human cells through phosphorylation

Researchers develop platform to aid kinase drug discoverySubscription

Researchers have developed a new biochip platform that will help to make drug discovery quicker and more cost-effective, according to an article published in Scientific Reports.

Paracetamol blunts both negative and positive emotionsSubscription

Researchers have shown that compared with placebo paracetamol blunts emotional responses to both unpleasant and pleasant images.

WHO calls for drug development incentives for neglected diseasesSubscription

Incentives are needed to encourage the development of new medicines to tackle diseases that disproportionately affect the poor, says the World Health Organization.

A potent type of antibody therapy has been trialled in HIV patients, showing a ‘profound effect’ on the levels of virus detected in patients blood. In the image, a nurse administers pre med to HIV positive patient

Broadly neutralising antibody shows some success in treating patients with HIVSubscription

A potent type of antibody therapy trialled in HIV patients for the first time has been shown to reduce the amount of virus in patients’ blood.

Safeguarding patients against the risk of bleeding and the management of polypharmacy are vital roles for pharmacists when dealing with patients taking new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), according to speakers at the annual congress of the EAHP in Hamburg

Managing the risk of bleeding with new oral anticoagulantsSubscription

Safeguarding patients against the risk of bleeding is a vital role for pharmacists when dealing with patients taking new oral anticoagulants.

Adherence to the oral anticoagulant dabigatran varies substantially among clinics and is higher at sites with pharmacist-led monitoring and appropriate patient selection, a US study finds. In the image, a pharmacist consults with a patient

Pharmacist-led monitoring improves adherence to dabigatranSubscription

Adherence to the oral anticoagulant dabigatran varies substantially among clinics and is higher at sites with pharmacist-led monitoring and appropriate patient selection, a US study has found.

A holistic, community pharmacy-based medicines review service can improve quality of life, medicines adherence and reduce the risk of falls in older patients

Holistic service from community pharmacists can reduce fall risk and improve patients’ quality of lifeSubscription

A holistic, community pharmacy-based medicines review service directed at older patients taking four or more medicines can improve quality of life, medicines adherence and reduce the risk of falls, suggests new research.

Identification and characterisation of a small molecule that targets protein receptors that stimulate the immune system could lead to novel vaccine adjuvants and anti-tumour agents. In the image, a human pathogen recognition molecule

Small molecule could pave way for novel vaccine adjuvants Subscription

Identification and characterisation of a small molecule that targets protein receptors that stimulate the immune system could lead to novel vaccine adjuvants and anti-tumour agents.

FDA fast tracks ivabradine’s heart failure licence, years after EuropeSubscription

The US Food and Drug Administration has granted a licence for the heart failure medication ivabradine, ten years after the drug was first approved in Europe.

EMA proposes disclaimer to address pharmacovigilance and liability conflictSubscription

The European Medicines Agency has launched a consultation on proposals to improve the prevention, reporting and evaluation of medication errors.

All news

Neuropathic pain (NP) is notoriously difficult to treat. Average daily pain scores were reduced significantly more with combination therapy than with either nortriptyline or morphine alone.

Combining nortriptyline with morphine may provide superior analgesia over monotherapiesSubscription

For patients with neuropathic pain, average daily pain scores were reduced significantly more with combination therapy than with either nortriptyline or morphine alone.

Treatment with cannabidiol, an extract of marijuana, reduces seizure frequency for patients with certain epilepsy conditions, new research suggests. In the image, a cannabis plant

Marijuana liquid may play a medicinal role in epilepsySubscription

Treatment with cannabidiol reduces seizure frequency for patients with certain epilepsy conditions, research suggests.

Study reveals that 5.8% of primary-school children (10–11 years) and 12.3% of secondary school children (11–16 years) have used e-cigarettes. In the image, a young boy uses an e-cigarette

More than 1 in 10 secondary school children have used e-cigarettesSubscription

Study reveals that 5.8% of primary school children (10–11 years) and 12.3% of secondary school children (11–16 years) have used e-cigarettes.

Imatinib mimics physiological response to produce antimicrobial effectsSubscription

The anti-cancer agent imatinib at very low doses mimics a physiological innate response to infection in the bone marrow, research shows.

A major research venture has yielded two antibiotic regimens that can be administered in low-income and middle-income countries. In the image, a mother and child from Dhaki, Bangladesh

Alternative antibiotic regimens effective for resource-poor settingsSubscription

A major research venture has yielded two antibiotic regimens for treating severe infections that can be administered in the outpatient setting.

Cochrane reviewers have found little or no good-quality evidence to prove xylitol, a natural sweetener found in sugar-free chewing gums and tooth pastes, has a protective effect against tooth decay. In the image, twin boys brushing their teeth

Xylitol may not protect teeth from decaySubscription

Cochrane reviewers have found little or no good-quality evidence to prove xylitol has a protective effect against tooth decay.

Trials of antidepressants used to treat anxiety disorders that the US Food and Drug Administration deemed positive were more likely to be published than those deemed negative.

Review identifies reporting bias in anxiety disorder trialsSubscription

Trials of antidepressants used to treat anxiety disorders that the US Food and Drug Administration deemed positive were more likely to be published than those deemed negative.

To overcome swallowing difficulties, patients may modify their medicine, such as by crushing tablets or opening capsules, recent survey finds

One in ten patients modify their medication to overcome swallowing difficultiesSubscription

In a survey of customers at five community pharmacies in Australia, 10.6% of respondents admitted to modifying their medication.

More research briefings

Special report

UK general election 2015

UK General Election 2015

The British public will decide the next UK government on 7 May in the 2015 general election. Unsurprisingly, healthcare and the NHS feature heavily in political party campaigns and manifestos. Here you can find our coverage of the elections, with a special focus on healthcare and pharmacy.

Read the special report

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