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David Mowat, health minister

Defence legislation for inadvertent dispensing errors to be laid ‘shortly’, says health minister

The UK government says it will “shortly” bring forward the necessary legislative changes that will put in place a defence for pharmacists against criminal prosecution for making an inadvertent dispensing error.

Close up of the antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pill

Research theory suggests HIV treatment may be increasing syphilis rates

Researchers have raised concerns that antiretroviral drugs given to HIV patients may be increasing susceptibility to syphilis.

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Close up of older woman with hearing aid

Increased duration of OTC painkiller use increases risk of hearing loss

Researchers say their findings suggest that a “significant proportion” of hearing loss is owed to paracetamol or NSAID-related ototoxicity.

Child's ear

Data lacking on childhood hearing loss following platinum-based cancer therapySubscription

Inconclusive data review leads researchers to advise clinicians to continue warning patients about the risk of hearing loss resulting from platinum-based cancer treatment.

Lumbar puncture being performed on a newborn baby

Targeted treatment shows promise for severe spinal muscular atrophySubscription

Antisense drug nusinersen was well tolerated in trial of 20 babies with SMA, with majority showing improved muscle skills and function after treatment.

GP takes blood pressure of patient

Ambulatory blood pressure higher than clinic BP, study showsSubscription

Researchers say 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring could benefit people with prehypertension following trial of 888 people. 

Older patient using a frame

Pharmacist review boosts detection of inappropriate prescribingSubscription

Inclusion of a pharmacist in the multidisciplinary team could detect more cases of potentially inappropriate prescribing, study results suggest.

Feet of newborn baby

Vitamin D levels at birth linked to MS risk in later lifeSubscription

Researchers found an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels in dried blood spots up to seven days after birth and the risk of developing MS in later life. 

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Illustration of stem cells

Stem cells: will they redefine stroke treatment?Subscription

Researchers are investigating whether stem cells can be used to restore brain tissue and reverse disability in people who have suffered a stroke, or even to stop the damage from happening in the first place. Recent trial results indicate that the field is making progress towards human application.

Toddler suffering from epilepsy undergoing electroencephalogram (EEG) examination

Cannabis for epilepsy: is there enough evidence of efficacy?

Parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy are searching for something to help, and some are turning to cannabis to try to reduce seizure frequency. With clinical trials of cannabidiol-based drugs under way, evidence for this treatment option may soon be forthcoming. However, concerns remain about side effects, such as sedation, interactions with other drugs, and potential disturbances of brain development.

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Infographic showing a decade of community pharmacy funding in England and timeline of events

A decade of community pharmacy funding in EnglandSubscription

Community pharmacies in England dispense 174 million more prescription items annually than in 2010, a figure that is predicted to rise further. Despite this, total funding for the community pharmacy contract is heading back towards 2010 levels.

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Special report

Summary care record

A one-off £200 payment will be awarded to each England-based community pharmacy contractor when the summary care record (SCR) service is activated before 31 March 2017, and pharmacies using the SCR can earn points through the Quality Payments scheme — which could be worth up to £1,280. Learn more about the service and how to use it with The Pharmaceutical Journal’s special report on the SCR.

Read on

Closed pharmacy store

Latest update: Follow news and reaction to pharmacy cuts as they unfold

Follow the latest updates on the proposed 12% funding cuts to community pharmacy, which could result in the closure of a quarter of pharmacies in England.

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A reference you need

Introduction to Pharmaceutical Calculations

Together with its companion text Pharmaceutical Calculations Workbook, Introduction to Pharmaceutical Calculations is essential reading for pharmacy undergraduates and pre-registration pharmacists.

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