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  • Smoking cessation remuneration needs to improveSubscription


    According to research by University College London (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:293), the drop in the number of smokers who quit smoking through the NHS Stop Smoking Service was mainly a result of insufficient investment in advertisement for the service. I believe the decline is also caused by the low remuneration ...

  • Unintended consequences of pharmacists working in GP practicesSubscription


    I was most agreeably surprised when watching ‘Breakfast’ on BBC to learn that the Royal College of General Practitioners is recommending that every GP practice should have its own pharmacist. Also it was good to see the interview with a pharmacist working in such a practice. From what the pharmacist was saying, it would seem to be the ideal for all parties with the pharmacist managing many long-term patients. He also suggested that such arrangements would mop up the current surplus ...

  • We need to accredit pre-registration tutors Subscription


    I am writing in response to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) overhaul of the registration assessment from June 2016. Having attended the GPhC’s stakeholder’s event in London on 3 March 2015, I liked what I saw with respect to the changes being proposed. This change is, indeed, long overdue and the trainees will have to move away from a surface learning approach, where the skill is to search and find information, to a deeper approach where they have to apply the information ...

  • Pharmacists working in GP surgeries is an opportunity, not a threatSubscription


    The Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have launched an exciting initiative where pharmacists will be working in GP surgeries (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:353). ...

  • ‘Essential small pharmacies’ are just that: essentialSubscription


    The disconnect between the words of politicians and NHS England and the reality on the ground is a chasm growing larger daily. Just look at how “essential small pharmacies” (which exist in areas where they are needed for patients, but where the level of business is otherwise too low for a pharmacy to be viable) are being treated.

  • Are membership fees are too high?Subscription


    As a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Faculty I have recently renewed my membership at a total cost of £192 plus £75, respectively. The fee is too high and is not comparable to other professions.

  • Drug shortage problem needs to be tackled internationallySubscription


    I wish to comment on Ingrid Torjesen’s interesting news story on tackling ongoing drug shortages (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:234). Manufacturers ...

  • 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 ...

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