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  • Eye irritation with XatalanSubscription

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a drug safety update advising that there have been increased reports of severe eye irritation with Xatalan (latanoprost; Pfizer) since its reformulation. The MHRA advises healthcare professionals who prescribe or dispense Xalatan to advise patients to tell their health professional if they experience severe eye irritation and to review treatment if patients mention severe eye irritation.

  • Steel cannula infusion sets at risk of breakingSubscription

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a medical device alert warning people that steel cannula infusion sets manufactured by Unomedical are at risk of breaking. This may cause leakage of medication or require surgical intervention to remove the needle. The ...

  • Higher final concentration for DexdorSubscription

    Dexdor (dexmedetomidine; Orion) can now be given in a higher final concentration, 8μg/ml, to limit the fluid load on patients with fluid restriction. The updated summary of product characteristics now also states that the ampoules or vials should be kept in the outer carton in order to protect them from light.

  • Capoten tablets scored for equal dosingSubscription

    The summary of product characteristics for Capoten (captopril; ER Squibb & Sons) now states that the tablets are scored to facilitate ease of breaking the tablet into two doses of 12.5mg or four doses of 6.25mg to help with swallowing.

Other product updates

  • Dexamethasone intravitreal implant recommended for diabetic macular oedemaSubscription

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended dexamethasone intravitreal implant (Ozurdex; Allergan) as a treatment option for some people with diabetic macular oedema. The treatment is only recommended if the implant is to be used in an eye with an intraocular (pseudophakic) lens and their ...

  • Aflibercept for diabetic macular oedemaSubscription

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended aflibercept (Eylea; Bayer)as a possible treatment for some people with sight problems caused by diabetic macular oedema. The treatment is only recommended if the patient’s eye has a central retinal thickness of 400μm or more ...

  • Everolimus not recommended for preventing organ rejectionSubscription

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not recommend everolimus (Certican; Novartis) for preventing organ rejection following a liver transplant.

  • Nintedanib recommended for lung cancerSubscription

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended nintedanib (Vargatef; Boehringer Ingelheim), given with docetaxel, for treating locally advanced, metastatic or locally recurrent non-small-cell lung cancer that has progressed after first-line chemotherapy.

Other notifications

  • Ethical principles in healthcare Subscription

    The global organisations for doctors, nurses and pharmacists have adopted a set of new ethical principles. ‘Ethical principles of health care in times of armed conflict and other emergencies’ is a code of ethics that provides a common core for these healthcare professions. Organisations that signed the code in Geneva, Switzerland, were the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the World Medical Association, the International ...

  • 'My lungs, my life' website launchedSubscription

    Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland has launched a new website for patients and parents of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. The website has interactive content and free information on what COPD is, how it is diagnosed and how it can be treated, including demonstrations on how to use inhalers. It is available at 

  • Mental illness learning toolSubscription

    The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched a free online learning tool for healthcare professionals involved in the care of children, young people and adults with psychosis, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The ‘Severe mental illness: prescribing and monitoring antipsychotics’ tool, developed by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, is available from ...

  • Guidance on electronic prescriptionsSubscription

    NHS England has issued guidance on electronic repeat dispensing aimed at clinical commissioning groups and GPs. It contains information on new functionality and legal information for the service. The guidance can be accessed on NHS England’s website.

Other resources

  • Alcohol-related liver disease surveySubscription

    The James Lind Alliance (JLA) — a non profit-making initiative that brings together patients, carers and clinicians — is conducting a survey on alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD). The survey will help create a ‘top ten’ list of questions around ARLD that should be priorities for researchers. JLA would like the input of community pharmacists. The survey can be accessed from the ‘Priority ...

  • Travelling fellowships for British citizensSubscription

    British citizens can now apply for a travelling fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT). The fellowships in the “medicines, health and patient care” category are open to nurses, care staff, therapists and others who wish to travel overseas to look at best practice and innovative programmes. There are 150 fellowships available up to a total value of £1.34m. Interested parties can apply via the ...

Other opportunities

  • GPhC consults on fitness to practise case guidanceSubscription

    The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has launched a consultation on new guidance for the investigating committee to use during fitness to practise cases. The guidance is called ‘Good decision making: investigating committee meetings and outcomes guidance’ and it can be accessed via the GPhC’s website. The GPhC is seeking views from pharmacy ...

  • More information required for ciclosporinSubscription

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidance asking Santen Pharmaceutical for more information about ciclosporin (Ikervis) for treating severe keratitis in adults with dry eye disease that has not improved despite treatment with artificial tears. NICE has requested additional information about the cost and clinical effectiveness of the drug.

  • Apremilast for psoriatic arthritis Subscription

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft guidance for consultation that does not recommend apremilast for psoriatic arthritis. The consultation documents (ID682) can be accessed on NICE’s website under the guidance in development section. The closing date for comments on the draft guidance is 10 July 2015. Final guidance is expected in ...

  • Chronic heart failure draft guidelineSubscription

    A draft guideline on the management of chronic heart failure has been published by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) for consultation. The draft guideline can be accessed from the SIGN website and feedback can be given until 17 July 2015. Publication of the guideline is scheduled for winter 2015.

Other consultations

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