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  • Workload pressures must be addressedSubscription


    Much has been written about the role pharmacy can play in relieving pressures on the NHS — being an integral part of accident and emergency departments and GP surgeries, developing public health services and improving interfaces between primary and secondary care. This is welcome news because the NHS has historically undervalued the role that we can play in improving and maintaining the public’s health. However, there is a huge hurdle to these becoming a reality, which we collectively ...

  • Ensuring pharmacy’s voice is heardSubscription


    As an English Pharmacy Board member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) for the past three years, I have worked hard with colleagues to ensure that pharmacy’s voice is heard by those who matter in the NHS, the government and the royal colleges.

  • The RPS should say no to remote supervisionSubscription


    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) must become robust in defending the current practice where community pharmacists are always present and available in the pharmacy to deliver hands-on pharmaceutical care. I am not against the introduction of technology, and telepharmacy etc have their place. However, the threats are real that, sometime in the future, it may be made possible by legislation for remote supervision to become the norm or that the the Medicines (Pharmacies) (Responsible ...

  • Consider patients’ biopsychosocial factorsSubscription


    In your interview with deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Bruce Warner (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:420), you mention that: “A Cochrane review found that current methods to improve adherence to medicines are not effective and concluded that it is uncertain how adherence to medication can be consistently improved.”

  • Potential risk of confusion when taking anticoagulantsSubscription

    By , Rosalind Byrne

    With increasing use of oral anticoagulants in primary and secondary care, we are becoming more aware of the risks of patient harm due to “over-anticoagulation”, and the need for correct drug and dosing and patient monitoring. These risks are well understood when patients take vitamin K antagonists. The advent of the newer oral anticoagulants (e.g. the direct inhibitors of activated factor Xa rivaroxaban and apixaban, and the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran) is introducing new and ...

  • Pharmacists often fear complaintsSubscription


    I write in response to Adam Pattison Rathbone’s blog (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:385), where he describes ...

  • The RPS needs a change in approachSubscription


    Pharmacy is no longer synonymous with pharmacists. Pharmacy now includes a range of support staff. Pharmacy technicians are qualified team members regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) needs to decide whether its remit is to promote pharmacy or pharmacists.

  • Do we need another school of pharmacy?Subscription


    As the situation stands, it is projected that the number of pharmacy graduates is already sufficient to, or in excess of, the number of preregistration training places available, although the actuality of this has not yet been assessed. Adding another new school of pharmacy to a system that is potentially already at capacity will only exacerbate this issue. An issue ...

  • Unnecessary visits to A&E will continue to occurSubscription


    I wish to comment on Adam Pattison Rathbone’s blog ‘Could pharmacists be part of the A&E problem?’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:385).

  • A collaborative approach will make pharmacy strongerSubscription


    I welcome and support the recent announcement that the Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) are to merge to create a single representative and support organisation under the NPA banner. This has long been an ambition and it is good news for the sector. This will provide a single voice for the owners of independent pharmacies (in England through the channel of Pharmacy Voice) and will ensure that there is a much needed clarity of purpose and ...

  • Why not just ask a pharmacist for advice?Subscription


    I have just watched the BBC programme ‘The truth about your medicine cabinet’, which was a fairly entertaining exposé (in the loosest sense of the term). I found it strange that the nation needs a 60-minute programme to tell us what people could have discovered if they had simply walked into a pharmacy and asked a pharmacist’s advice on treating their minor symptoms. Instead, the programme insinuates that, as a nation, we appear to be wandering aimlessly around supermarkets and service ...

  • Pharmacists are not a threat to GPsSubscription


    I found GP Clare Gerada’s view on pharmacists archaic (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:208). Is the role of the pharmacist not constantly evolving? At least I thought it was. Pharmacists will never be able to step up as long as there are GPs like Gerada around.

  • Pharmacists cannot fear the lawSubscription


    Roger King wrote to say that law reform, including decriminalising dispensing errors, will not change the way pharmacists work (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:278). I share his view.

  • 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 ideal for all parties with the pharmacist managing many long-term patients. He also suggested that such arrangements would mop up the current surplus of pharmacists. H

  • 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 ...

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