Promoting oral health in the communitySubscription
Dental caries caused 63,000 children to be admitted to hospital for surgery in 2014. In that year, approximately one-quarter of British five-year-olds suffered with tooth decay and more than one-third of children did not see a dentist
Research about emergency department pharmacistsSubscription
I would like to bring readers’ attention to our research study ‘An investigation of EmergeNcy Department PharmAcist PractitionERs in the United Kingdom’ (the ENDPAPER study) led by researchers at the University of Manchester. Funded by the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association and Pharmacy Research UK, ENDPAPER aims to describe and define the role of emergency department pharmacists who have completed additional clinical skills training. We are currently looking for study participants who: Are ...
I read with disappointment the letter by Wai Sin Kung calling for opioid substitution services to be scrapped (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2017;299:40). The views expressed were unfounded and simplistic. The opioid substitution service does indeed help some users to stop abusing drugs, but it is also there to prevent some of the social upheaval that often follows with a drug addiction, ...
After only seven years, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) appears to be using its powers under the Pharmacy Order 2010 to provide guidance for everyone whose activities affect the services provided by registrants (pharmacists and technicians). This guidance is designed to elaborate on the existing standards for registered pharmacies, particularly those obligations directed at owners. So perhaps we can feel a little more confident that the GPhC finally acknowledges that the quality ...
Using sweeteners to reduce sugar consumptionSubscription
Reducing sugar calorie intake by exchanging sucrose with a sweetener to meet World Health Organization targets
On 21 July, NHS England announced plans to prevent GPs from prescribing homeopathic remedies (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 21 July 2017).
The Joint Committee for Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) has recently announced that the vaccine that could stop people from dying from human papilloma virus (HPV)-related cancers will not be given to boys (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 20 July 2017).
It is thought that up to 60% of acute kidney injury (AKI) cases presented in hospital begin in primary care. In the UK, AKI costs the NHS over £1bn each year
Charcoal toothpastes: what we know so farSubscription
Charcoal toothpastes are a recent innovation in the oral healthcare product market, and some pharmacies have started stocking them. The marketing campaigns for these toothpastes are fashionable, trendy, and different to those for other toothpastes. This marketing has enjoyed considerable success, encouraging the introduction of related products, including ‘charcoal toothbrushes’, which have charcoal incorporated into the bristles.
Ross Ferguson’s letter (The Pharmaceutical Journal, 2017;298:357) questioned how relevant The Pharmaceutical Journal is to members. In his reply to Ferguson, Sid Dajani agreed that the journal needed to be more member-oriented. What I find staggering is how the journal continues to shoot itself in the foot ...
Aspirin is a potent drug that is still widely prescribed since the days of Hippocrates in its willow bark tea form. Recently, it has been reported that older people are at high risk of gastric bleeds when taking low dose aspirin (The ...
The future of pharmacy has been an ongoing discussion for some years. The advances in technology of all kinds, and their impact on the profession, are a serious concern. With advances in artificial intelligence and ‘fuzzy’ logic (an approach to computing based on ‘degrees of truth’), and in logistics and supply (e.g. advances in the design, and use of drones), we must be concerned for the future of pharmacy.
As pharmacy moves forward, there will no doubt be necessary changes to the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum. However, we must ensure that the foundation knowledge that all pharmacists should have is not compromised. The pharmacist, in some instances, is all that stands between the patient and harm from their medicines. This may mean counselling in the correct use of their medicines, but it also means knowing the limitations of types of dosage forms.
The government needs to get on with its own recommendations and speed up access to life-changing drugsSubscription
As the rest of Europe competes to rehome the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London, minds at home are finally focusing on what that means for access to new treatments in a post-Brexit Britain.
Food pouches for infants — how to advise parentsSubscription
Although birth rates have declined globally over the past 50 years, increasing prosperity has made several convenience products for babies and infants particularly popular. Baby food and formula markets were estimated at $35bn, and the diaper market is worth $27bn (2015 figures)
So the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) national pharmacy board elections are over for another year. Now begins one of the most important phase: the election of the president of the RPS.
In 2016, there were 70.8 million visits abroad by UK residents and the World Tourism Organization expects worldwide tourist arrivals to increase to 1.8 billion by 2030
Experience of setting up and running a referral scheme from the secondary care anticoagulant clinic to community pharmacies in SwindonSubscription
The new medicines service (NMS) is an advanced service in the community pharmacy contractual framework. It consists of community pharmacist structured interviews with patients during their first month of treatment with a new medicine. The service aims to improve medicines concordance and improve patient understanding of their treatment.
A survey Diabetes UK has just conducted shows that most of us (59%) now know someone with type 2 diabetes. Yet most people would ignore four out of six symptoms of diabetes (thrush, fatigue, increased urination and extreme thirst).
Managing stained teethSubscription
Many people often visit pharmacies to ask for solutions to stained teeth. We write to highlight to pharmacists briefly the different types of staining and treatment options available.
Using the new RPS websiteSubscription
The Retired Pharmacists’ Group (RPG) Committee wishes to share its thoughts on the design and usability of the new Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) website.
A large clinical trial conducted on a drug derived from cannabis has demonstrated reduction of convulsive seizures experienced by children with a severe form of epilepsy by nearly 50%. The results, ...
Following the High Court’s ruling on 18 May 2017 rejecting the case made against the government’s funding cuts to community pharmacy in England, many may be left wondering what the future holds for the community pharmacy market.
Negative feedback from health monitoring devicesSubscription
Health is more than the sum of laboratory results and monitoring figures. In the same way, quality of life needs to reflect more than just observations.
Improving packaging safetySubscription
In Emma Wilkinson’s excellent feature on pharmaceutical packaging design (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2017;298:281), she stated that tall man lettering was introduced in 2009 following research by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA). The packaging for Wockhardt UK Ltd’s cephalosporin range was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory ...
The media has recently highlighted that the number of prescriptions for melatonin have been increasing in children and young people. This is a cause for concern and something that The Children’s Sleep Charity is working hard to address. It is, of course, important ...
In light of the pitiful turnout for the recent Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) pharmacy board elections, it is timely to give some serious thought to the relationship between the RPS and its members. I was hopeful for a healthy turnout, given the ‘noise’ of social media activity, but it seems those participating represented a small minority ...
Is the chief pharmaceutical officer of England serving patients and the profession well?Subscription
Upon his appointment in 2005, the chief pharmaceutical officer for England Keith Ridge stated that: “Over the past few years, patients have demanded change to how health services are delivered, including pharmacy. The Government and the pharmacy profession have listened and are responding, putting pharmacy practitioners right at the front line of patient care. Prescribing of medicines by pharmacists and the new community pharmacy contract will increase access to healthcare. I intend ...
Sid Dajani’s letter (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 13 April 2017), prompted partly by my letter two months earlier (The ...
Community pharmacy saves the day againSubscription
On Friday 12 May 2017, we saw what was possibly the biggest attack on the NHS IT infrastructure. Despite not appearing to be a specific target, it has had a massive effect on patient care. There were many GP surgeries unable to access online patient records or issue electronic prescriptions; enter community pharmacy.
From Graham Phillips’s letter about his attendance at the ‘Quality for patients: pharmacy practice now and in the future’ conference (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2017;298:234), I thought he was going to report on the conference but all he offered was a rant at the chief pharmaceutical officer (CPO) for England for, in his view, inadequate ...
Working together to find solutionsSubscription
On 8 May 2017, some local practice forum (LPF) steering group members called upon the candidates in the national pharmacy board elections to recognise the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and publicly support LPFs. Over the past two years I have visited many LPFs and have been ...
Engaging both members and non-membersSubscription
Over the past few weeks, I have been delighted to see a higher level of engagement than has probably been seen in the past. Much of this has been through modern social media routes such as Twitter and Telegram. This is something the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) should investigate further to see how it utilises these media to maximise the engagement with members and non-members that utilise these media routes. The debate has been challenging and maybe some of it has drifted into ...
So much of the work done by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is positive and I greatly appreciate this, but to retain and grow the membership, we must focus more on the needs and wants of the members. The work around the Faculty is a case in point. Most grassroots members I know can see no current value in joining and building a Faculty portfolio. With the introduction of General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) revalidation, members will look to the RPS for support.
The time for action is nowSubscription
The writing is on the wall or, to be more precise, the writing is in the ‘Five year forward view’, the Murray report and your local sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).
“Mental health is often missing from public health debates even though it’s critical to well-being.” — Diane Abbott
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