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

Measles vaccine suspected of adulteration linked to the death 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.

The meta-analysis included 15 studies that compared GLP-1 agonist and basal insulin combination therapy with other antidiabetic drugs with type 2 diabetes

Combining a GLP-1 receptor agonist plus insulin proves more effective than other diabetes therapiesSubscription

An alternative to insulin achieved robust glucose control for diabetes with no increased risk of hypoglycaemia or weight gain, conclude the authors of a systematic review of therapies.

Storefront of Boots pharmacy

High Court favours Boots in representation fight, but union to appeal in EuropeSubscription

The Pharmacist’s Defence Association Union has lost the latest round in its battle to win the right to represent almost 7,000 Boots pharmacists in a battle over pay and hours.

Black African university student studies in library

Seminar aims to help improve pass rates for Black-African pre-registration pharmacistsSubscription

The General Pharmaceutical Council will hold a seminar with the charity Equality Challenge Unit to help investigate why pre-registration pharmacists from a Black-African background have the lowest pass rate for registration assessment.

General pharmaceutical council signage

BBC sting continues to see fall-out with striking-off of pharmacistSubscription

A London pharmacist’s claim that he was making emergency supplies when he sold prescription-only medicines (POMs) to an undercover reporter was not plausible, a fitness-to-practise (FTP) committee ruled as it struck him off.

Senior male patient has a macular eye test

Off-label macular degeneration therapy has similar safety to costly licensed drug, study findsSubscription

Bevacizumab is similarly safe to use for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as the more expensive ranibizumab, but has a risk of causing gastrointestinal disorders, a Cochrane review has found.

Micafungin molecular structure

Micafungin well tolerated by leukaemia patientsSubscription

Micafungin is as effective at preventing fungal infections in leukaemia patients but better tolerated than older formulations of posaconazole, interim results from a study suggested.

British American Tobacco offices in London

Big tobacco’s nicotine inhaler approved by UK regulatorSubscription

A cigarette-shaped nicotine inhaler has become the first of its kind to be licensed by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Klebsiella pneumoniae on CLED agar

US antibiotic stewardship reduces drug resistance and costSubscription

A comprehensive antibiotic stewardship programme at a New York city hospital saved money, reduced drug-resistant infections and led to an increase in the reporting of adverse events.

Alzheimer's disease culture cell

Benzodiazepine use is associated with Alzheimer's disease, finds studySubscription

Older adults who are prescribed benzodiazepines for longer than three months are up to 50% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, new research indicates.

Obese women in Louisiana, USA

FDA adds another weight loss drug to the US marketSubscription

Combination therapy Contrave is the third weight loss drug to be approved by the US FDA in recent years. 

Dorit Nitzin, World Health Organisation (WHO) head of office in Ukraine

WHO says Ukraine is at risk of polio outbreak as vaccine stockpiles dry upSubscription

Ukraine is at risk of a polio outbreak as the war ravaged nation has run out of vaccine stockpiles for the disease, as well as for other infections, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

Light micrograph of inflamed heart cells

Study reveals inflammatory process linking diabetes with heart diseaseSubscription

Simply controlling blood sugar will not prevent diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease, but preventing cellular inflammation limits the capacity for cells to take in glucose, a study has found.

Laboratory assistant using a mass spectroscopy

Mass spectroscopy technique used directly on blood samples could lead to quicker use of correct antibioticsSubscription

A diagnostic technique can identify a microbe within two to three minutes, while traditional analysis can take up to 48 hours. 

Infected ulcer in the forearm of a male patient

New single-dose antibiotic could help patients with compliance problemsSubscription

A new single-dose antibiotic could benefit patients, such as intravenous drug users, whose lifestyle makes it difficult to comply with a week-long course of vancomycin.

Colin Hitchings

International award for former RPSGB PresidentSubscription

Colin Hitchings, former president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, has been awarded the Joseph A Oddis Award posthumously for exceptional service to the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

Isavuconazole molecular structure

Experimental antifungal drug causes fewer side effects than voriconazoleSubscription

A new experimental anti-fungal treatment is no less effective than its predecessor, but exposes patients to fewer side effects, a study has found.

Counterfeit medicines

Counterfeits designed to deceive pharmacists, RPS conference hears

Counterfeit medicines are being designed specifically to deceive pharmacists, the annual Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference heard.

Other news


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 drug.

Over-the-counter medicines

OTC medicines: a breakdownSubscription

Sales of over-the-counter medicines totalled £2.45bn in 2013, up by £52.3m compared with the previous year.

Yes and no signs on Scottish referendum stuck on a post in Glasgow, Scotland

Scottish independence: what are the implications for pharmacy?

Many aspects of pharmacy will be affected if Scotland becomes an independent country.

Ebola outbreak in Liberia

Medicines supply chain ‘overwhelmed’ by Ebola crisis


Pharmacists working in West Africa have spoken about the overwhelming scale of the challenges they have faced in Liberia in the battle against the Ebola virus.

Read more on the News blog

Blood vessels in the choroid of the eye

Statin users have lower risk of developing diabetic complications, study suggestsSubscription

A new study suggests that patients taking lipid-lowering drugs may be protected against diabetic microvascular complications.

Improved glycaemic control with fixed-ratio combination of insulin degludec and liraglutideSubscription

A new trial shows that patients who took IDegLira (Xultophy) for 26 weeks experienced a significantly greater mean reduction in HbA1c than patients taking either insulin degludec or liraglutide.

African-American male patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Paradoxical bronchoconstriction occurs in 5% of COPD patients treated with beta-2-agonistsSubscription

African–American patients with COPD are more likely to be affected by therapy-induced bronchoconstriction, study suggests.

Plasma cells in multiple myeloma patient

Promising results for lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in myelomaSubscription

A trial involving more than 1,600 patients with multiple myeloma showed improvement in progression-free survival with a new combination therapy.

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

Jocelyn Parkes, RPS director for Wales

Striving to improve standardsSubscription


Jocelyn Parkes, RPS director for Wales, looks at what is being done across Wales to improve patient care in light of the ‘Trusted to care’ report.

Advertising feature

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

More jobs

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