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  • 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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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 ...

  • Pharmacists should support patients with delayed antibiotic prescriptionsSubscription

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    Antibiotic resistance has been well documented recently as one of the most significant challenges to future public health in the UK and beyond.

  • New authentication tool for counterfeit medicinesSubscription

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    As Peter McAuley (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:180), Umakant Patel (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:151) and others have previously highlighted, ...

  • Develop a strategy for pharmacy and the RPS that integrates pharmacy techniciansSubscription

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    I am pleased to hear of progress with the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) and the views of Steve Acres and Tess Fern in this week’s Pharmaceutical Journal (2014;293:180). The way forward has to be close working of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. This may be happening but it is not apparent from a search of The Pharmaceutical Journal. ...

  • Independence can protect the Scottish NHSSubscription

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    It is disappointing that so many senior figures in Scottish pharmacy declined to say something meaningful when presented with the opportunity by your correspondent, Clare Morrison, in her feature (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:240).

  • 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 (

  • Science and practice components of pharmacy are mutually interdependentSubscription

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    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.

  • Not a medical treatment, but a moral decisionSubscription

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    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

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    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.

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