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Long-term conditions

A pharmacist and patient in a cholesterol control consultation

In November 2016, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) launched its campaign 'Pharmacist-led care of people with long term conditions’, which calls for the full utilisation of pharmacists’ expertise and clinical knowledge to help people with long-term conditions achieve the best outcomes from their medicines and make more efficient use of NHS resources. The Pharmaceutical Journal marks the launch of this campaign with a special report on long-term conditions, which shows how pharmacists can support patients living with conditions such as diabetes, COPD and atrial fibrillation, from detection through to management and monitoring.

Submit a paper

Icons of diabetes,COPD and heart disease

Clinical Pharmacist calls for papers on long-term conditions

7 MAR 2017By

We are calling for article submissions that highlight best practice in relation to the management of long-term conditions.


Infographic on the new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation

New oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillationSubscription

23 SEP 2016By

Around 12,500 strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation (AF) in the UK each year, and 7,100 of these are preventable with appropriate anticoagulation. Four new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are now available in the UK in addition to warfarin.


Illustration showing the different types of asthma inhalers: From left, MDI inhaler, turbohaler, autohaler and accuhaler

How to help patients optimise their inhaler techniqueSubscription

27 JUL 2016By

Examining the impact of sub-optimal inhaler technique and how healthcare professionals can support patients in optimising their technique.

Risk stratification and ongoing care is important in non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome, the new collective term for unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. In the image, a nurse looks at the ECG results of a patient

Non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome: an updateSubscription

26 SEP 2015By , ,

Risk stratification and ongoing care is important in non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome, the new collective term for unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction.

Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the UK, affecting 12,000–15,000 people. Although it is a life-shortening condition, its symptoms and complications can be effectively managed. Pictured, SEM of a sickle cell red blood cell

Sickle cell disease: symptoms, complications and managementSubscription

25 SEP 2015By

Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the UK, affecting 12,000–15,000 people, and although it is a life-shortening condition, its symptoms and complications can be effectively managed.


Montage of COPD, research and a drop in funding

Inadequate funding hampers research into chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseSubscription

10 NOV 2016By

A lack of funding for research into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as difficulties in conducting clinical trials, make finding new treatments for this respiratory condition challenging. But there are glimmers of hope, such as reversing steroid resistance and identifying subpopulations of patients in order to speed up clinical trials.

HIV particles budding from a CD4+ T cell

Seeking a cure for HIVSubscription

3 NOV 2016By

Efforts to find a cure for HIV were reinvigorated in 2008 when the case of Timothy Ray Brown showed that a cure is possible. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies are now seeking out the virus in its hiding places in an attempt to eradicate it completely.

Picture from the PReDicT (Predicting Response to Depression Treatment) emotion recognition

Personalised treatment for depression on the horizon: predicting response to antidepressantsSubscription

6 OCT 2016By

Only one-third of patients with depression benefit from the first antidepressant they try, but researchers are striving to find biological features that predict how a person will respond to particular drugs so they can tailor treatment from the beginning.


Geneticist at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm) researches genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis

Conventional therapies and emergent precision medicines for cystic fibrosis: challenges and opportunitiesSubscription

30 NOV 2016By

Around 27 years ago, the discovery of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene – responsible for causing cystic fibrosis (CF) – marked a significant moment in the history of the condition. Despite the early promise of this target for gene therapy, a universally successful treatment has proven elusive in the ensuing years. While clinical trials involving gene therapy continue to make progress, the ‘magic bullet’ remains some way off. Survival continues to ...

Statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs are increasingly being used for primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In the image, micrograph of cholesterol crystals

Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with statins: assessing the evidence base behind clinical guidanceSubscription

12 FEB 2016By

Statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs are increasingly being used for primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Three lines of evidence inform the development of therapeutic goals for both drug and lifestyle intervention. This evidence reveals the following principles for cholesterol lowering in primary prevention: (a) ‘the more (lowering), the better’ for relative risk reduction, (b) ‘the lower, the better’ for absolute risk reduction, and (c) ‘the earlier, ...


Why we need write access to patient summary care recordsSubscription

26 AUG 2016By Louise Laming,

A patient came into our pharmacy requesting an emergency supply of a salbutamol inhaler recently. He lives elsewhere but was working locally. We accessed his summary care record (SCR) and, to our surprise, discovered that he had not been prescribed anything since 2015. Before then, he was regularly prescribed beclomethasone and salbutamol inhalers. In addition, the surgery details he provided were incorrect.

Referral delays for arthritis patients could have devastating consequencesSubscription

5 AUG 2016By

I would like to highlight the devastating consequences that delayed referrals are having on people with inflammatory arthritis.

Impact of a pharmacist-led asthma and COPD respiratory clinic in general practiceSubscription

9 JUN 2016By , ,

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) continue to account for a large burden of disease in the UK. Despite comprehensive guidelines, more than 1,000 people die from asthma each year and COPD accounts for a leading cause of emergency admissions in the UK. In a joint initiative between NHS City and Hackney clinical commissioning group and the local tertiary centre for respiratory disease Barts Health NHS Trust, asthma and COPD reviews were undertaken by a specialist ...


Hands showing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Anti-inflammatory drugs could treat symptoms of depression

20 OCT 2016By

Anti-cytokine drugs typically prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, can also improve symptoms of depression, according to new research.

Metformin tablets

Diabetes prescriptions have risen by a third since 2011

11 OCT 2016

The number of prescriptions for drugs to treat type 2 diabetes dispensed by community pharmacies in England rose by 33% over the past five years, according to research carried out by EXASOL, a database developer and analytics company.

Blood pressure check

Antihypertensive drugs may affect mood disorders

11 OCT 2016By

Four types of commonly prescribed blood pressure medicines may have an impact on mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, according to research.

CT scan of the heart

Anti-inflammatory drugs linked with higher risk of heart failure

4 OCT 2016By

High doses of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can double the risk of being admitted to hospital for heart failure. 

Bronchiole of person with asthma

Oral treatment shows promise for persistent eosinophilic asthma

11 AUG 2016By

An early trial of the experimental oral asthma therapy fevipiprant has shown it is effective in reducing airway inflammation among patients with persistent eosinophilic asthma.

Research briefing

CT scan of brain showing a stroke

Pharmacist-led atrial fibrillation reviews reduce stroke risk for patientsSubscription

31 OCT 2016

A review scheme led by a team of pharmacists prevented an estimated 886 strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation.

A blood glucose test being carried out

Diabetes patients need convincing of benefits of lifestyle changesSubscription

28 OCT 2016

Questionnaires sent to 112 patients with diabetes across 24 GP surgeries reveal a reluctance to improve lifestyle, as well as a lack of understanding about HbA1c levels. 

Sick child taking medicine

Paracetamol does not worsen lung function of children with asthmaSubscription

20 SEP 2016

When used during respiratory illness in children, paracetamol is not associated with a higher risk of asthma exacerbations than ibuprofen.


Becoming a pharmacist in a GP practice – my journey so far

19 OCT 2016By

Regina Ahmed has decided to try a career in the primary care sector. In the first of a series of blog posts, she describes her first impressions of the role.

Sandra Gidley, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board

RPS 'delighted' with proposed changes to supervision of pharmacists training to be prescribersSubscription

2 DEC 2016By

Sandra Gidley, chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, says the RPS is surprised and delighted to see the GPhC consultation document proposing changes to the supervision of pharmacists training to be prescribers

A pharmacist helping a patient

Pharmacist expertise must be used to support people with long-term conditionsSubscription

3 NOV 2016By

A new campaign calling for pharmacists to have a significant role in supporting people with long-term conditions is being launched by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Useful resources

  • 'Integration of care', a report from the Royal College of General Practitioners, highlights gaps in healthcare for many people living with multiple long-term conditions
  • The Royal Pharmaceutical Society's campaign 'Pharmacist-led care of people with long-term conditions' calls for pharmacists' expertise and clinical knowledge to be fully utilised in the care of people with chronic conditions

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