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The Pharmaceutical Journal


Lady Justice at the Old Bailey in London

No more delays with rebalancing medicines legislation and pharmacy regulationSubscription

We need fewer empty promises and more action and progress with rebalancing medicines legislation and pharmacy regulation — particularly around dispensing errors.


Illustration of legal scales

Why pharmacists need to re-evaluate what information they provide to patientsSubscription

By ,

Previous court cases concerning informed consent of treatment have raised questions about what consent means in relation to pharmacists, medicines and prescribing.


From left (top), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Flavia Bustreo, Philippe Douste-Blazy, (bottom) David Nabarro, Sania Nishtar and Miklós Szócska

Q&A: WHO director-general candidates’ views on global healthSubscription


Six candidates in the race to be director-general of the World Health Organization outline their priorities and vision for global health.

Learning article

Health worker holding a dying patient's hand

Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carersSubscription

By , ,

Pharmacists are becoming increasingly involved in palliative care and can be a source of important information and support for patients at the end of life. Health professionals caring for patients with advanced illness should develop skills for communicating with patients, and their families and carers.

Woman holds a positive pregnancy test

Preconception care: dietary and lifestyle adviceSubscription

By ,

Engagement by women with a pharmacist or healthcare professional for preconception advice and care ranges from 18% to 45%. Pharmacists are uniquely placed to provide this advice when individuals present for new registration checks, well-woman consultations, contraceptive advice and reviews, as well as medicine use reviews.


Members of the team at Warman-Freed pharmacy

How pharmacists can boost sales of over-the-counter medicines


Joanna Mills, consumer and influencer insight manager at specialist over-the-counter pharmaceutical company Perrigo, uses examples from Warman-Freed pharmacy in London to explain how pharmacists can increase their sales of non-prescription products.

Call centre desks

What pharmacists do at NHS 111Subscription


Saša Jankovic finds out how pharmacists play an integral role at the non-emergency medical helpline for England and Scotland.

Rachel Macdonald, professional services pharmacist for PCT Healthcare Ltd

How Rachel Macdonald got involved in research in a community pharmacySubscription


Rachel Macdonald, professional services pharmacist for PCT Healthcare Ltd, recently participated in the Salford Lung Study in community pharmacy.


The new oral anticoagulant drugs Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban and Apixaban pills and pill boxes

Safety issues highlighted with newer oral anticoagulant drugs

Analysis of ‘real-life’ data comparing newer direct oral anticoagulants with warfarin has identified adverse drug reactions (ADRs) ‘not previously associated’ with the new treatments, including hip fracture.

Toddler using an inhaler

Heartburn drug use during pregnancy associated with asthma in children

A new study shows that children born to women who take heartburn medicines when pregnant are at least a third more likely to develop asthma symptoms compared with non-users, but scientists say more research is needed to confirm whether there are any other reasons behind the possible link.

vaughan gething wales welsh wales health secretary

Treatment fund launched in Wales for newly approved drugs

An £80m new treatment fund to pay for high-cost drugs approved for use on the NHS in Wales has been launched.

Scottish government building in Edinburgh

Scottish government confirms commitment to GP practice role for pharmacists

The Scottish government has reiterated its commitment for 140 prescribing pharmacists to work directly with general practices by the end of 2018.

Patients waiting in GP waiting room

NHS England announces extra £112m for expansion of GP-based pharmacist scheme

NHS England has announced it will supply an additional £112m investment to roll out a pilot scheme embedding clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries.

Dispensary shelves in a pharmacy

Similar branding partly blamed for ‘devastating’ dispensing error

An “overworked” community pharmacist, who pleaded guilty to dispensing the wrong drug to a patient who later died, has been sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for two years.

News in Brief

Alex MacKinnon, acting chief executive of the RPS

Alex MacKinnon, director for Scotland, to act as interim chief executive of RPSSubscription

18 JAN 2017By

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society RPS president Martin Astbury says Alex MacKinnon is “delighted to accept the acting up arrangement”

Person using inhaler

New inhaler standards endorsed by RPSSubscription

18 JAN 2017By

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has endorsed a new set of inhaler standards developed by the UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) — a coalition of not-for-profit organisations and professional societies with a common interest in promoting the correct use of inhaled therapies.

Ian Strachan, chair of the National Pharmacy Association

Two legal cases against pharmacy cuts to be heard jointly in March 2017

16 JAN 2017

The UK High Court will consider two legal actions against the government’s decision to cut community pharmacy funding in a hearing set for March 2017.

Karen Baxter, director of the BNF

BNF receives NICE accreditation

13 JAN 2017By

Source: PharmPress The BNF has now been accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 

Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE

Kidney cancer drug to be funded by NHS after manufacturer cuts price

12 JAN 2017

Everolimus has been recommended for use in the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence after its manufacturer, Novartis, cuts its price.

Young woman taking a pill

US agency reaffirms folic acid advice for women planning pregnancy

11 JAN 2017

The US Preventive Services Task Force has reaffirmed its 2009 advice that all women who are planning or capable of pregnancy should take a daily supplement of folic acid of between 0.4mg and 0.8mg to reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt

Hunt denies community pharmacy funding cuts will deepen NHS crisis

11 JAN 2017

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied that the government’s decision to cut the community pharmacy budget in England will deepen the current NHS crisis.

The Food and Drug Administration

FDA approves nusinersen for use in rare genetic condition

3 JAN 2017

The first drug approved to treat patients with the potentially fatal genetic disease spinal muscular atrophy has been approved for use in the United States.

Pharmacy shelves

Australia tightens restrictions over codeine-containing medicines

23 DEC 2016By

Products containing codeine will no longer be available over the counter in Australia following a review by its medicine’s regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The Pharmaceutical Journal

January 2017, Vol 298, No 7897

Cover Story:

Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carers

Read more…

The Pharmaceutical Journal

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Your RPS

Members of the Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB) and guests during autumn 2017 meeting

Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting: 27 September 2017 Subscription

The Scottish Pharmacy Board held their autumn meeting at Holyrood Park House, Edinburgh, on 27 September 2017.

English Pharmacy Board meeting on 5 October

English Pharmacy Board meeting: 5 October 2017Subscription

The English Pharmacy Board met at the London office of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on 5 October 2017.

mair-davies-director for Wales

Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting: 12 October 2017 Subscription

The Welsh Pharmacy Board held their third meeting of the year on 12 October 2017, at the Society’s offices in Pontprennau, Cardiff.

New and improved AMS Hub launchedSubscription

As part of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s antimicrobial stewardship campaign, the antimicrobial stewardship portal has been given a major makeover by the Society’s Professional Development and Services team.

jayne lawrence head of pharmacy at the University of Manchester

High-profile guests lined up for Welsh Medicines Safety Conference 2017 Subscription

The seventh Welsh Medicines Safety Conference will be held in Hensol, near Cardiff, on 29 November 2017, with high-profile guests lined up to speak

christine bond 17

Pharmaceutical Expert Advisory Panel says Brexit negotiations must protect UK pharmaceutical industry Subscription

Brexit must be negotiated in a way that guarantees UK pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries access to European markets, a paper released by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Pharmaceutical Science Expert Advisory Panel (PSEAP) has warned.

RPS members’ views sought for next edition of MEPSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has launched a survey of members’ views on Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP).

paul bennett pharmacist flu jab mag 17

RPS chief executive receives his flu jabSubscription

Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, received his seasonal flu vaccine from Abdul Malique Khalisdar, pharmacist manager of Victoria Pharmacy, Westminster, during a staff vaccination clinic held on 19 October 2017.

Elen Jones, practice and policy lead for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales

Elen Jones recognised for Welsh language innovation in pharmacySubscription

Elen Jones, practice and policy lead for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales, was part of a team that has been recognised by the Welsh government for “Innovation in Health and Welsh Language”.

Photograph of the original Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

175 years of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society MuseumSubscription

The Museum was set up to be a scientific reference resource of materia medica for students of the Society’s newly established School of Pharmacy.

Darush Attar, respiratory lead for Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group with the winning poster on community pharmacy intervention for COPD management

Research award for North West London Local Practice ForumSubscription

London North West Local Practice Forum has won a “best practice award” for research into how community pharmacists can support self-management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Person putting vote in ballot box

How we can increase turnout to RPS board electionsSubscription


The RPS needs to be more engaged with the membership in order to increase voter turnout, says English Pharmacy Board member Sid Dajani.

How pharmacists tackle antimicrobial resistanceSubscription

13 October 2017: Following a warning by Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, of an “impending antibiotic apocalypse”, members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) took to the airwaves to explain what antibiotic resistance means and what measures are needed to tackle it. Ash Soni, president of the RPS, appeared on the BBC’s News Channel and LBC Radio, and GP pharmacist and RPS member Helen Kilminster spoke on BBC1’s Victoria Derbyshire programme. Kilminster explained ...

Pharmacists vital in urgent and emergency careSubscription

13 October 2017: Reacting to the news that more physician associates will be trained and employed in A&E departments, Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, wrote to The Times to outline the important role pharmacists play in urgent and emergency care. “With winter pressures upon us and the NHS creaking at the seams, the time to capitalise on the pharmacy workforce is now,” Soni wrote.

Care home ss 17

RPS Wales give evidence on use of antipsychotic medicines in care homesSubscription

Pharmacists should be “guardians of the appropriate use of antipsychotics in care home settings”, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales told the Welsh Assembly on 5 October 2017.

Street view of Edinburgh

New-style RPS Local events roll out across ScotlandSubscription

The first Scottish RPS Local events will be rolling out across the country over the next few weeks.

Glasgow iconic cityscape

Pharmacy students invited to volunteer at FIP World Congress 2018Subscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is seeking student pharmacists to volunteer at the 2018 International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress.

English delftware drug jar, 1647

English Delftware display jar, 1647Subscription

Beautifully decorated with the coat of arms of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, this 370 year old vessel is the earliest known dated English delftware drug jar.

Beth Ward, head of professional development with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Professional Development and Support team

'Don’t worry' – RPS message for pharmacists ahead of proposed revalidation changesSubscription

Delegates at the 2017 Scottish National Seminar were told that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is ready to support them through the new continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

Audience at the 2017 Scottish National Seminar

Event report: Scottish National Seminar 2017Subscription

Health literacy, revalidation and the Scottish government’s strategy for pharmacy ‘Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care’ were high up the agenda at the 2017 Scottish National Seminar.


For official announcements from The Royal Pharmaceutical society please visit the announcements page here.

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