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News and Analysis


Blood pressure devices giving inaccurate readings, study findsSubscription

Blood pressure devices designed for use at home can give inaccurate readings for as many as 15% of users.

James Kingland, president of the National Association of Primary Care, argues that questions should be asked about how local enhanced services money is being recirculated

Questions should be asked about how health commissioners recirculate funding to GPsSubscription

Income from local enhanced services that were historically delivered by GPs could and should be open to competition, not just recycled to general practice, according to the president of the National Association of Primary Care.

Women with epilepsy should be made aware of the risks associated with their medication before becoming pregnant

Study measures impact of epilepsy drugs in uteroSubscription

Women with epilepsy should be warned upon diagnosis that some treatments for the condition may cause adverse effects on the neurodevelopment of unborn babies.

e-cigarette poisoning incidents

Parents warned to keep e-cigarettes out of reach as poisoning incidents increaseSubscription

There has been a significant rise in the number of cases of children ingesting the liquid in e-cigarettes, prompting poison experts at Public Health England to warn parents to keep them out of reach.

NHS Health Check

MPs question the value of the NHS Health CheckSubscription

A report from an influential group of MPs has suggested that the health check programme represented poor policy and may not achieve its intended aims.

Pharmacy inspection model

Almost all pharmacies rated satisfactory, with few considered to be good or excellentSubscription

More than 90% of the first pharmacies inspected by the General Pharmaceutical Council under its new inspection model were considered satisfactory, while only a handful were rated good and hardly any were judged to be excellent.

Chloramphenicol eye and ear drops

Medicines regulator reviews chloramphenicol packaging after picking errorsSubscription

Regulators are working with community pharmacy organisations to review the packaging of chloramphenicol eye and ear drops.


Green light for first treatment to target ovarian cancer with BRCA mutationSubscription

The European Medicines Agency has recommended that Lynparza (olaparib) be approved to combat a type of ovarian cancer for which there are limited treatment options.


Embrace opportunities under five-year NHS plan, pharmacists urgedSubscription

Pharmacy organisations have identified opportunities to integrate more with other services and have a real impact on improving patient care within the five-year NHS plan.


Boosting drugs manufacture in developing countries will improve health outcomes, UN investment forum toldSubscription

Increasing pharmaceutical production in developing countries — especially in sub-Saharan Africa — could improve access to affordable medicines, experts say. 

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.

Other news

The amygdala is the emotion centre of the brain. Psilocybin reduces amygdala reactivity to negative emotional stimuli, and has been found to induce an increase in positive mood. Neural patterns break down and the connectivity between different parts of th

Psychedelics: entering a new age of addiction therapy

Psilocybin, the compound that makes mushrooms magic, is showing promise as a treatment for several psychiatric illnesses.

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.

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


Experimental drug holds promise for Ewing sarcoma patientsSubscription

Strategy for interfering with DNA repair offers potential treatment for Ewing sarcoma.


Disappointing results for fish oil in atrial fibrillation trialSubscription

Study suggests high doses of fish oil supplements do not reduce atrial fibrillation, a common type of irregular heartbeat.


New technique produces chirally pure moleculesSubscription

Researchers based in the US look at a new way to create chirally pure molecules to help discover drugs.

Anti-inflammatories and depression

Meta-analysis strengthens link between depression and inflammationSubscription

Anti-inflammatory treatments have an effect on depression and depressive symptoms, a systematic review of trials finds.

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

Pharmacists will be sent a self care guide to help patients manage minor illnesses

How pharmacists in Scotland can help combat antimicrobial resistanceSubscription

By ,

Jacqueline Sneddon, project lead for the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, and Annamarie McGregor, professional support pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, explain how pharmacists in Scotland can improve antimicrobial stewardship.

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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.

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