It is time for England to follow the lead of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and abolish prescription charges.
Several clinical trials have been stopped because of safety concerns, but pharmaceutical companies should not lose their nerve.
Rather than generating revenue, it appears that charging people with long-term conditions for their medicines results in patients not filling their prescriptions with hidden costs for their health, for the NHS and for the UK economy as a whole.
Community pharmacists are well placed to assist in the early identification of dementia, as well as to help patients to manage their medicines. However, a wider role for pharmacists, for example, conducting medicines reviews in patients’ homes, will depend on how their clinical role develops.
Multiple myeloma: an expensive revolutionSubscription
New treatments for this rare form of cancer have transformed patient survival rates, but the benefits have come with huge costs.
Antidepressants are not a ‘quick fix’ for children and young people with mental health problemsSubscription
Mental health professionals are becoming increasingly concerned that antidepressants are being used as a sticking plaster as waiting lists for specialist psychological treatments get longer and longer.
How the Gates Foundation seeks to energise the global fight against neglected tropical diseasesSubscription
The president of the global health division at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Trevor Mundel, reveals how it is taking action against neglected tropical diseases.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours lists recognise the achievements of a wide range of people from across the UK. The Pharmaceutical Journal has profiled four people honoured this year who are pharmacists or have close connections with pharmacy or the pharmaceutical industry.
Books and Arts
Admissions: a life in brain surgery, by Henry Marsh
Drug dealer, MD, by Anna Lembke
The acid watcher diet: a 28-day reflux prevention and healing programme, by Jonathan Aviv
Around 500,000 print copies of the BNF and BNF for Children are distributed to healthcare professionals each year. A new app which combines BNF and BNF for Children content ensures the availability of drug information through a smart device.
Children may be exposed to potentially harmful excipients, essential components of drug formulations, through unlicensed and off-label use of adult medicines. Excipient exposure should be minimised, although a medicine containing a problem excipient may be indicated, but only after a careful risk–benefit assessment.
Nick Thayer has always been vocal about the value and importance of local pharmacy services. Here, he describes how he is leading their development to ensure that community pharmacy remains a priority.
Pharmacy is too often left out of the media conversation on key healthcare issues, so it is important to strengthen our presence across all sectors, through both mainstream and social media. Gareth Malson explores how media training benefits both pharmacists and pharmacy.
What neuroscience pharmacist Viv Horton does for movement disorder and Parkinson's servicesSubscription
As a neuroscience pharmacist, Viv Horton sees patients in a movement disorder clinic and Parkinson’s Advanced Symptom Unit, and delivers ward-based medicines optimisation services covering neurology, neurosurgery, neurorehabilitation and stroke services.
General Pharmaceutical Council suggestions on revalidating pharmacists not robust enough to improve patient safety, says RPS.
The government is promising a £21m fund to help protect trauma centres from cyber attack after hospital centres were downed by the WannaCry ransomware virus.
The British and European pharmaceutical industries warn against impact on life-saving drugs in a letter to Brexit leaders.
Ridinilazole is a narrow-spectrum antibiotic that has been found to have a potent bactericidal effect on C. difficile.
Exposure to the meningococcal group B vaccine is associated with a reduced likelihood of contracting gonorrhoea, according to the findings of a large study in The Lancet.
New threshold criteria governing when a complaint against a pharmacist or technician should be referred to the professional regulator’s investigation committee have been agreed.
News in Brief
Bear fat: pharmacy's first leave-in conditionerSubscription
Bear’s grease became a popular hair-restoring pomade during the second half of the 1700s, when the wearing of wigs fell out of fashion.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is seeking real-world examples of how pharmacists are supporting antimicrobial stewardship.
An analysis of data from the Department of Communities and Local Government suggests stop smoking schemes will be among the hardest hit services.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is holding its first public hearing to ask patients for their experience of taking valproate.
Superdrug has introduced a chickenpox vaccination service in 58 of its stores in an attempt to reduce hospital visits.
Two biosimilar medicines for the treatment of patients with specific blood cancers and a range of inflammatory conditions have been made available for patients in the UK.
The ABPI has confirmed that it has applied for a judicial review to challenge a decision made by NHS England and the NICE to introduce process for medicines likely to cost the NHS more than £20m in any of the first three years of use.
Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) could be responsible for thousands of excess deaths every year, according to the authors of a recent study.
NHS England is close to launching a £30m contract framework that will invite companies to tender to hire 500 general practitioners from the European Union
Collaboration is key to our futureSubscription
Funding cuts are a threat to the publicSubscription
Mixed reviews about The Pharmaceutical JournalSubscription
Warning about potential data loss in pharmaciesSubscription
Superior shelf-life of EmeradeSubscription
Scrap the opioid substitution serviceSubscription