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  • The pharmacy degree risks becoming less attractive to studentsSubscription

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    We are extremely disappointed with the decision made by MP Greg Clark that it “is not necessary to implement a specific student number control for pharmacy”. As we set out in our response to the consultation in 2013, the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) does not support a free-market-based approach to the management of student numbers. We believe that a control at the point of entry would have the least impact on concerned parties. We hope that the minister’s comments ...

  • Why should the pharmacy student numbers be managed differently to other health professions?Subscription

    By

    So, despite all the evidence painstakingly compiled by the pharmacy profession, ably led by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), our justified expectations of a cap on pharmacy student numbers are dismissed in a few brief sentences by Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities.

  • Pre-registration training difficultiesSubscription

    By ,

    We have always believed that young talent should be nurtured and supported during the informative years when entering the profession. However, recently we have become alarmed at the number of reports from our students who have become disillusioned and demoralised as a result of their pre-registration training placement.

  • A provocative point that came out as a damaging statementSubscription

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    Like Brian Furman (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:276), I was distraught that a senior person in our profession could make such an outdated and factually incorrect statement at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference (

  • We need to be at the cutting edge of relevant scienceSubscription

    By

    As a profession, pharmacy has a main focus on medicines. The idea from Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Bill Scott that science, especially chemistry, is of minor importance (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:234) is absurd. It is a waste of resources if a university course does not get as close to the cutting edge of the relevant science as possible. ...

  • There will not be enough pre-registration places for all studentsSubscription

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    In the recent coverage of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference in The Pharmaceutical Journal, there was a focus on the need to manage the number of students studying pharmacy in order to resolve the oversupply of pharmacists (online, 7 September 2014).

  • We need to embrace science more positivelySubscription

    By

    Two items attracted my attention in a recent issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal. The first was the report on the development of advanced clinical academic training of pharmacists “which will support the advancement of a relatively small cohort of pharmacist each year… to the overall benefit of pharmacy as a profession” (2014;293:226), ...

  • Science and practice components of pharmacy are mutually interdependentSubscription

    By , ,

    We agree and support wholeheartedly the views expressed by Brian Furman (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:276) in his response to the recent suggestion from Bill Scott, the chief pharmaceutical officer for Scotland, that science be removed from the MPharm curriculum.

  • Science is the backbone of the pharmacy professionSubscription

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    The Pharmacy Schools Council (PhSC) was disappointed to see reports in The Pharmaceutical Journal (9 September 2014) of Bill Scott’s comments at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference, which asserted a need to remove the science from the MPharm to focus on healthcare. The PhSC represents 27 schools of ...

  • Water intake affects uric acid excretionSubscription

    By

    I was interested to read Tina Hawkins’s article on the treatment and prevention of gout (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:182) and would like to add a point about water intake. If excess uric acid is excreted by the kidneys, then presumably an adequate water intake and hence urine production is helpful to this process (assuming adequate renal function). When the ...

  • What we need is public health education, not finger pointingSubscription

    By

    Although I do not disagree with Anthony Cox’s views on selling only evidence-based over-the-counter (OTC) medicines (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:176), his views are those of an academic working in a university and not from a pharmacist standing at a medical counter facing a sales executive requesting a cure for a dry cough before a vital presentation ...

  • Ludicrous to suggest removal of science from pharmacy degreesSubscription

    By

    I was disappointed to read the unhelpful and divisive report in The Pharmaceutical Journal (online, 9 September 2014) suggesting that I favour the removal of science from the undergraduate pharmacy programme. Nothing could be further from the truth. In response to a question at the RPS conference on how I would change the undergraduate pharmacy degree I was quoted ...

  • Evidence base does not always work in retail environmentSubscription

    By

    I read with interest Anthony Cox’s piece on evidence-based medicine (EBM) in over-the-counter (OTC) products (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:176). As a community pharmacist with a strong support for EBM, I enjoyed the enthusiasm and desire to strive for this approach with OTC products. However, I found his piece offensive to community pharmacists implying what ...

  • Science is an essential component of undergraduate pharmacy educationSubscription

    By

    It was with incredulity that I read the reported comments of Scotland’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer on the removal of science from the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014:293:234). Given the enormous challenges of future healthcare provision, with escalating costs of medicines, an aging population, growing antimicrobial resistance ...

  • Will G8 funding for dementia research recognise the involvement of stealth pathogens in the global pandemic?Subscription

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    The G8 countries have agreed to tackle the pandemic of dementia that is leading to a crisis in medical and social care costs, but in focusing international attention on vascular dementia, the opportunity may well have been lost to investigate dementias claimed to be caused by stealth pathogens.

  • Is there a consensus on using NSAIDs for acute gout?Subscription

    By

    I read with interest your learning article on gout (The Pharmaceutical Journal, 2014;293:182). However, I am rather confused over the reference to using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the treatment of acute gout. I was always under the impression that ibuprofen should not be used in the treatment of acute gout but in the article ...

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