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News and Analysis

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) shows high cure rates for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI),pictured, or infectious diarrhoea

Research confirms faecal microbiota transplantation is safe and effectiveSubscription

An age-old treatment has shown remarkable clinical cure rates for Clostridium difficile infection, achieving far better outcomes than antimicrobial therapy.

Effective treatments against multi drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are lagging, says latest World Health Organization (WHO) report

Effective treatments lagging behind for multidrug-resistant TB, says WHOSubscription

There are still major gaps in delivering effective treatments to patients suffering from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, a report finds.

Janssen, Johnson & Johnson'e pharmaceuticals unit will invest $200 million to expand and accelerate production of the Ebola vaccine. In the image, body of an Ebola victim is carried away by workers in Liberia.

Johnson & Johnson accelerates Ebola vaccine pushSubscription

Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceuticals unit, Janssen, will invest US$200m in accelerating and expanding production of its Ebola vaccine.

Viagra (sildenafil) can now be sold to men suffering from erectile dysfunction in New Zealand without a GP prescription

New Zealand allows access to sildenafil through pharmacySubscription

Men suffering erectile dysfunction in New Zealand are now able to buy sildenafil from specially trained pharmacists without a GP’s prescription.

Facilities providing hospital care for elderly patients in Wales have revealed medicines management shortfalls, report finds

Review calls for improvements to medicines management in Welsh hospitalsSubscription

Unannounced inspections of facilities providing hospital care for elderly patients in Wales have revealed serious shortfalls in medicines management.

Minor ailments service could save the NHS up to £1 billion a year if patients were seen by community pharmacists rather than GPs or in the A&E department

National minor ailment scheme could help save NHS £1bnSubscription

Community pharmacists in England could help save the NHS up to £1bn a year if they were contracted to run a national minor ailments service.

New Medicines Service is guaranteed a place in pharmacy, says Sue Sharpe, the chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), which negotiates the NHS pharmacy contract.

New medicine service guaranteed a place in pharmacy, conference hearsSubscription

The new medicine service is here to stay for the foreseeable future, according to the chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) rejects call by weight loss charity, Beat, for stricter control of laxative sales

Regulator rejects call for stricter control of laxative salesSubscription

A call by an eating disorder charity for tougher controls on the sale of laxatives has been rejected by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

A child under six years of age is subject to medication errors every eight minutes in the United States, study finds

Medication errors common in childrenSubscription

A child is subject to a medication error every eight minutes in the United States, according to research that analysed calls to national poison hotlines.

Day Lewis pharmacy to test two-pharmacist model in bid to win services, says Kirit Patel (pictured at The Pharmacy Show), founder and chief executive of the company

Day Lewis pilots two-pharmacist model in a bid to win servicesSubscription

Day Lewis Pharmacy, which has more than 220 pharmacies in the UK, is piloting a two-pharmacist model within its pharmacies in a bid to win services.

According to the department of health, the NHS wastes up to £2.5 billion due to medication errors

Medication errors cost the NHS up to £2.5bn a yearSubscription

The NHS wastes at least £1bn – and possibly as much as £2.5bn – on preventable errors, many of which are related to improper use of medication, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Health.

Department of Health proposes 25% price cut on branded medicines in England

Price cut of 25% proposed for medicines on statutory scheme in EnglandSubscription

The maximum price pharmaceutical companies can charge the NHS for branded medicines could be reduced by 25% under proposals by the Department of Health.

Molecular structure of glimepiride, a diabetes drug which is activated by light and causes the pancreas to release insulin

Diabetes drug is activated by light to cause pancreas to release insulinSubscription

Scientists have developed a “photoswitchable” version of the diabetes drug glimepiride that is activated through exposure to blue light, allowing insulin release by pancreatic cells to be optically controlled.

Valproate should not be prescribed to pregnant women or females of child-bearing age due to harmful side effects on the foetus, regulators recommend

Valproate poses risk to unborn children, says European regulatorSubscription

Review recommends that valproate should not be prescribed to treat bipolar disorder or epilepsy in pregnant women or women or girls of childbearing age unless there is no alternative product.

The fight against ebola in Liberia seems to gain momentum as communities take steps to prevent the transmission of the virus

Fight against Ebola growing stronger in LiberiaSubscription

Pharmacists in Liberia report that the fight against Ebola is gaining momentum with traditional leaders in rural villages implementing measures to stop transmission.

Prostate cancer cells self-destruct when a copper-activated drug is delivered to the infected cells, research finds

Prostate cancer cells tricked into self-destruction because of their hunger for copperSubscription

Researchers have found a way to utilise prostate cancer cells’ voracious appetite for copper as a weapon to kill them. 

Oral delivery of faecal microbiota transplant therapy (FMT) delivered in capsules to eliminate Clostridium difficult infection is successful, study finds

Faecal transplant therapy delivered effectively by oral capsuleSubscription

Oral delivery of faecal microbiota to eliminate Clostridium difficile infection is as successful as more invasive methods of the treatment.

Recent campaign by English Pharmacy Board calls for greater use of pharmacists to relieve pressure on emergency NHS services

Urgent care campaign to call for greater pharmacist roleSubscription

A campaign to promote greater use of pharmacists to relieve mounting pressures on urgent and emergency NHS services has been launched.

Other news

NHS Benchmarking Network aims to benchmark pharmacy-related productivity in the NHS

Measuring productivity does not always reflect performance Subscription

A project that aims to benchmark pharmacy-related productivity in the NHS raises concerns for pharmacists.

Researchers are investigating strategies to combat outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-COV)

Investigating treatment strategies for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirusSubscription

Researchers are investigating a number of ways to combat the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, including using existing drugs.

Management of whistleblowers in the healthcare sector

Creating a culture of whistleblowing for pharmacists Subscription

How do we improve the treatment of whistleblowers in the healthcare sector?

Demand for hand sanitisers, bleach, gloves and face masks instantly grows as ebola spreads

How pharmacists in Nigeria are helping to manage the Ebola outbreak

By Sarah Marshall

With a total of 90 representatives from Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon at this year’s FIP congress in Thailand, Ebola was a recurrent theme.

Read more on the News blog

Gold nanopraticles could be a viable drug delivery system because of their ability to penetrate into the skin, study finds

Study identifies how gold nanoparticles penetrate skinSubscription

Scientists have identified key characteristics that enhance a nanoparticle’s ability to penetrate skin which could have implications for the delivery of medicines.

Human embryonic stem cells show evidence of medium to long-term safety and graft survival when transplanted into patients, study finds

Human embryonic stem cells appear to be safe for use in macular degenerationSubscription

Visual acuity improved in the eyes of patients with macular degeneration being treated with embryonic stem cells.

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stenting (known as PTAS) plus medical therapy was associated with a higher likelihood of stroke than medical therapy alone, report the study authors

Review considers strategies for intracranial artery stenosisSubscription

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stenting (PTAS) and medical therapy is linked with a higher risk of stroke than medical therapy alone.

In the picture, HIV viruses budding from a cell. Othjer therapeutic options are being explored for HIV patients who cannot take efavirenz as therapy against HIV.

Options explored for HIV patients unable to take efavirenzSubscription

A clinical trial has evaluated alternatives to first-line therapy efavirenz in treatment-naïve HIV-infected patients. 

More research briefing

Special report

The Ebola outbreak

Timeline, ebola virus outbreak 2014

The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease is by far the biggest on record in terms of numbers of people affected and geographical spread. It is also the first time the disease has spread through a large urban environment. Since it began in Guinea in December 2013, it has spread to Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Read the special report

Advertising feature

Panel at the Pharmacy Show

Highlights of The Pharmacy Show

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

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