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  • Not a medical treatment, but a moral decisionSubscription


    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society guidance states a “neutral position” on proposed legislation permitting assisted dying, yet approaches the matter as near fait accompli.

  • Software issues lead to loss for pharmacySubscription


    I came across the following dispensed prescriptions the other day while doing a locum shift. They were both essentially computer system problems, but I found them concerning nonetheless.

  • Ensure that no counterfeit medicines enter the supply chainSubscription


    I would like to comment on the news item in The Pharmaceutical Journal regarding falsified medicines (2014;293:100). The piece claims that the time taken to test whether a pack is counterfeit will be less than a second.

  • Pharmacists responding to international crisesSubscription


    Many pharmacists and companies have made contact with International Health Partners (IHP) over the past few weeks looking for ways to make an impact on the huge need in so many conflict zones and disasters around the world.

  • We need to balance the scale of change for pharmacy inspectionsSubscription


    Richard Schmidt (2014;293:151) has provided a well argued response to the central tenet of Graham Phillips’s blog (2014;293:151) about the new General Pharmaceutical Council inspection process — that ...

  • Pharmacy technicians and the RPSSubscription

    By ,

    Howard McNulty makes some relevant points in his recent letter (2014:293:151). Times and attitudes have changed since the separation of the regulatory and professional body of the old Royal Pharmaceutical Society. During the intervening period, the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) has been working hard to ...

  • There is more to mental illness than geneticsSubscription


    In a research briefing (2014;293:133) you reviewed a study published in Nature about the genetics of schizophrenia, which is one of those destructive conditions that damages and costs society so much.

  • A safe service does not mean it is a good serviceSubscription

    “Surely pharmacists should have been consulted?” writes Graham Phillips (2014;293:85) in his blog about the new General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) inspection model for community pharmacies. He considers it unjustified to conclude that only 1 in 30 pharmacies in the UK is “good”. In fact, pharmacists were consulted. I was on the GPhC ...

  • Verifying genuine pharmaceutical products will be difficult to implementSubscription


    In most big IT projects software providers have over promised and under delivered and at a far higher final cost. I do not believe it will be any different when it comes to verifying genuine pharmaceutical products (2014;293:587). One billion items are dispensed every year. Assuming it takes one second to check each item physically, this equates to about 280,000 hours of labour.

  • Is it not time registered pharmacy technicians are allowed to join the RPS?Subscription


    As one of many who advocated that registered pharmacy technicians should be able to join the new professional body for pharmacy in the past, I was disappointed that the then new Royal Pharmaceutical Society decided not to allow it.

  • The RPS policy on assisted suicide addresses many questionsSubscription

    By ,

    Although it was good to see an update on the progress of the Westminster private members’ bill on assisted dying reported in last weeks’ editorial (2014;293:98) we were disappointed that no mention was made of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society policy and the amount of work RPS staff have already undertaken to support the profession, should this legislation be passed. 

  • Lyme disease: pharmacists can helpSubscription


    In recent years the awareness and, indeed, incidence of Lyme disease, a zoonotic tick borne condition, has increased steadily in the UK. Between 2001 and 2010 the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Scotland soared from 28 to 308, although experts believe the true figure could be 10 times that number. Rates are more than three times higher in Scotland than in England.

  • Propagation of myth and confusionSubscription


    Leading clinicians have written an open letter to NICE, outlining six major concerns requesting NICE to withdraw its recommendations for lowering the risk threshold for primary prevention. 

  • Packaging needs to be taken into accountSubscription


    Although the research that has been done on the packaging issue is a step in the right direction, I believe the variation of packaging of the same product should also be taken into account.

  • We have a responsibility to actSubscription

    I was interested to read a view of climate scepticism in The Pharmaceutical Journal (PJ, 14 June 2014, p607). There is only controversy on this subject in the political sphere, with 97% of climate scientists agreeing that global warming is real, as well as every university and government in the world.

  • Pharmacy degree must evolve to meet the needs of societySubscription


    The comment article by Chijioke Agomo was an interesting and informative contribution to the discussion on the maintenance of pharmacist employment (PJ 2014;292:638). However, it did lack positive responses to the increasing problem that he identified.

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