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  • Pharmacy has little control over government fundingSubscription


    The decision by Greg Clark, the minister for universities, science and cities, not to introduce controls on the number of pharmacy students is pretty much what many of us expected. Since extra government funding for pre-registration places will not be made available, it is no skin off his nose if large numbers graduate. If it is not costing the NHS a penny, it seems pointless lobbying our local MP, as Gino Martini suggested (The ...

  • Caution is needed with e-cigarettesSubscription


    In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), known as e-cigarettes. The working party responsible showed less enthusiasm than Margaret Cunningham (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:599). ...

  • English language testing is a good thingSubscription

    By Aamer Safdar

    I support the plans for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to test pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from the European Economic Area (EEA) on their levels of English.

  • Medicinal cannabis widely used in IsraelSubscription


    I would like to add to David Nutt’s piece about medicinal cannabis (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:560). Cannabidiol and d9-tetrahydrocannabinol were discovered by scientists in Israel and medicinal cannabis is now widely used there for a number of conditions. It is grown in secret locations under strict security and is prescribed by doctors registered to do so. There is now a facility ...

  • Our knowledge and understanding of e-cigarettes is still limitedSubscription


    A letter from M Cunningham exhorts “those in the profession opposed to e-cigarettes to come around in light of growing evidence” (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:599). To support this argument, she cites the opinion of experts who spoke at a recent conference, ‘The e-cigarette ...

  • 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.

  • The long struggle to ensure prudent use of antibioticsSubscription


    Déjà vu was the overwhelming reaction I had to the feature on strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:517).

  • The tide is turning in favour of e-cigarettesSubscription


    I recently attended the E-cigarette Summit at the Royal Society in London on 13 November 2014, which aimed to offer the opportunity for debate around the use of e-cigarettes. I am a locum pharmacist and stop smoking adviser, and in my role I come across many patients who are smokers.

  • Disillusioned with the future of pharmacySubscription


    After becoming qualified and working as a locum community pharmacist for over a year, I am already disillusioned by what the future of pharmacy will be. I agree with Adnan Baig’s letter (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014:293:524) regarding how an uncontrolled, competitive market will undermine the profession. Throughout my studies I have worked hard with the hope of becoming ...

  • Without access to medical records, MURs cannot be conducted properlySubscription


    A medicines use review (MUR) can only be done properly if the pharmacist has access to the medical records of the patient. I believe this is only possible if the MUR is conducted in a doctor’s surgery. I spent three months working in a large medical practice where I had access to the patient’s medical records. With this information, I was able to make a proper assessment of the patient’s needs. Also, community pharmacists are under pressure to meet MUR targets, which doesn’t help because ...

  • Many reasons why e-cigarettes should not be sold in pharmaciesSubscription


    In response to recent articles in The Pharmaceutical Journal and to add to ongoing discussions within the pharmacy profession surrounding the hot topic of electronic cigarettes, there are some points worth considering.

  • A good student does not necessarily make a good pharmacistSubscription

    By Aamer Safdar,

    We wish to offer a different perspective on the recent decision by the government not to cap pharmacy student numbers (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:412).

  • Things will only get worse for pharmacy studentsSubscription

    By Adnan Baig

    I agree with Ryan Hamilton’s letter (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:463) which expresses concerns about the potential lack of pre-registration placements for the increased number of pharmacy graduates. As a part-time university lecturer, I have talked to fourth-year pharmacy students who have told me they are ...

  • E-cigarettes: proceed with cautionSubscription


    I note that your online poll suggests support for the sale of e-cigarettes in pharmacies (2014;293:412). It is not clear who you polled but that is beside the point.

  • E-cigarettes in pharmaciesSubscription


    I attended this year’s Pharmacy Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 5–6 October 2014 and saw a large number of exhibitors flogging their e-cigarette products to attendees, many of whom are pharmacists. How can pharmacists encourage patients to give up smoking while at the same time promote the sale of e-cigarettes? My local Boots pharmacy has a display stand of e-cigarettes right next to the dispensary and ...

  • Integrating science into practiceSubscription


    I agree with other correspondents that science is integral to pharmacy practice but we also need to balance our application-to-practice credentials with our scientific background.

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