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  • The way pharmacists work will not changeSubscription


    I wish to comment on Brian Curwain’s letter on the government’s proposal to decriminalise dispensing errors (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:211). I am not convinced that the decriminalisation of dispensing ...

  • Prescription charge system doesn’t make senseSubscription


    I was interested to read that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called for wholesale reform of the NHS prescription charge system (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:189). I was surprised to read that 36% of community pharmacists, GPs and nurses think that the current system is acceptable and appropriate.

  • Decriminalisation proposals don’t go far enoughSubscription

    By Adam Pattison Rathbone

    I was pleased to read the news story ‘Pharmacists will no longer face prosecution for honest dispensing errors under UK proposals’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:200).

  • Caution needed with different strengths of medicinesSubscription

    By Dawn Fleming

    I would like to highlight a risk I have encountered with “specials” medicines. My newborn daughter was discharged from hospital with a bag of medicines, including furosemide liquid 5mg/5ml and spironolactone liquid 10mg/5ml. When my husband collected a follow up prescription from our local community pharmacy, it contained furosemide liquid 20mg/5ml and spironolactone liquid 5mg/5ml. Therefore, the amount to give per dose had to be adjusted accordingly. I am concerned that sleep-deprived, ...

  • Decriminalisation will change the way we workSubscription


    The proposal in the government consultation ‘Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation’, which ends on 14 May 2015, is more than welcome. The proposal, if enacted, would end the situation where a single dispensing error ...

  • Increase in schools does not reflect demand for pharmacistsSubscription


    I read with interest Barry Shooter’s letter in which he argued that he is still not convinced pharmacy student numbers should be controlled (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:148). As a postgraduate researcher and a teacher-practitioner who is regularly in touch with undergraduate students, my conclusion is different. Part of the initial findings of my study, ...

  • Still not convinced pharmacy student numbers should be cappedSubscription


    In 2013 I explained in detail why I am in favour of market forces determining the number of students entering the MPharm course (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2013;291:246) rather than a cap being applied.

  • Hospital drug shortages are just as important as primary shortagesSubscription


    I found your feature on medicines shortages interesting (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:109). As a former medicines procurement specialist pharmacist and past chairman of the Pharmaceutical Market Support Group (PMSG), I have spent much of the latter part of my career working on managing medicines shortages in hospitals in England.

  • The NHS is a customer, not something to saveSubscription


    Contrary to Graham Phillips’s view (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:116), I do not believe community pharmacy is going to save the NHS. The NHS is a customer. It buys services from community pharmacies which are businesses operating purely for profit. Ask the multiples, supermarkets and the merchant class that control vast ...

  • Tetracycline causing tooth discolouration not a trivial matterSubscription


    Your CPD article on re-implanting an avulsed tooth (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;294:56) states that antibiotics should be prescribed. Although the reference given does indeed state that tetracycline can be prescribed, it goes on to remind the reader that most jurisdictions do not advise that tetracycline is given to patients under 12, because of ...

  • An alternative buzzword for 'medicines optimisation'Subscription


    ‘Medicines optimisation’ may indeed be the new buzzword but it does not lend itself to the acronym. Neither does it suit the Plain English brigade because it is rather ponderous. I suggest something far snappier which should please all sides: “best use of medicines”. Allan G. Jones Rhuddlan, Rhyl

  • What is causing the delay to decriminalising dispensing errors?Subscription


    Well hooray and alleluia! A ray of common sense pierces the clouds of officialdom. Now community pharmacists will not have to “dob themselves in” to the authorities until legal defences are put in place to counter the strict liability offence that arises when a dispensing error is made. I would like to claim my blog (The Pharmaceutical ...

  • No more pro-pharmacy rhetoric: we need actionSubscription


    GP surgeries and accident and emergency departments are under siege. Barely a day goes past without the issue being highlighted in the nation’s media and discussed by politicians of all persuasions. Everyone, it seems, agrees that pharmacy is a significant part of the answer and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and other pharmacy bodies have done a great job of

  • Maize growth is the real reason why malaria is a problem in AfricaSubscription

    By Maeve Hawkesworth

    This letter was removed from publication as it contravened our editorial standards. For more information on our editorial guidelines, please visit our Contribute page.

  • Patients should know who did the final checkSubscription


    I have had heated debates with dispensing staff about patients’ right to know if a pharmacist has performed the final check and bagged their medicines. Certainly, if I were a patient, I would like to know who is doing the final check of my medicines.

  • Generic prescribing is not appropriate for inhaled drugsSubscription

    By , , , , ,

    The UK is experiencing an explosion of new drugs and inhaler devices being licensed for people with respiratory disease, increasing the complexity of prescribing for people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The management of how these new products are introduced into clinical practice is important because they may vary in type of inhaler device and licensing.

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