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Issue : The Pharmaceutical Journal, December 2014

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  • White adipose tissue

    Researchers pinpoint new approach to treating obesity Subscription

    22 DEC 2014 16:02
    Comments (1)

    Researchers have identified group 2 innate lymphoid cells for the first time in human white adipose tissue and shown that it limits obesity.

  • nsaids skin biopsy solar elastosis actinic keratosis 14

    NSAIDs may help protect against skin cancer Subscription

    22 DEC 2014 15:49 By Joanna Lyford

    The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a class of medicines used to treat pain and inflammation, is associated with a reduced risk of developing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a type of skin cancer, research suggests.

  • Oxygen therapy for COPD patient

    Oxygen therapy reduces dyspnoea in COPD patients with mild disease Subscription

    22 DEC 2014 11:35

    Continuous oxygen during exertion, but not short-burst therapy, significantly reduces dyspnoea in patients with mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, researchers find.

  • Depo-Provera stock issues Subscription

    19 DEC 2014 15:27

    Stock of Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate; Pfizer) 150mg/ml will be exhausted by 25 December 2014. The company anticipates that supply will resume in the week commencing 12 January 2015. Medical information on 01304 616161. Further information on 0845 6088866.   

  • The Brain and SSRIs

    Researchers examine why SSRIs take time to work Subscription

    19 DEC 2014 15:25

    Researchers have shown that serotonergic neurons release both serotonin and glutamate, thereby transmitting a dual signal with behaviourally distinct effects.

  • Merton Sandler, a pioneer in psychopharmacology and authority on monoamines

    Merton Sandler (1926-2014) Subscription

    19 DEC 2014 12:05 By Joanna Lyall

    Merton Sandler was fascinated by investigative medicine and was a passionate researcher, who would often use himself as a test subject.

  • Steps to secure a summer placement in a community pharmacy

    How you can secure a summer placement in community pharmacy

    19 DEC 2014 9:16 By Ailsa Colquhoun

    Applications for those all-important community pharmacy summer placements are open now. Here’s how you can secure your place.

  • Novartis Christmas opening hours Subscription

    18 DEC 2014 10:49

    The main switchboard at Novartis will be closed from 1pm on 24 December 2014 until the morning of 2 January 2015. Medical information will be available on 01276 698370 until 1pm on 24 December and from 10am until 4pm on 29–31 December. An emergency medical information service will be available outside these hours, also on 01276 698370. Customer care (for orders) will be available on 0845 7419442 between 8.30am and 2.30pm on 24 December, between 9am and ...

  • Gardasil side effects Subscription

    18 DEC 2014 10:40

    The summary of product characteristics of Gardasil (human papillomavirus vaccine; Sanofi Pasteur) now includes acute disseminated encephalomyelitis as an adverse event with frequency not known. 

  • NICE recommends ustekinumab for psoriatic arthritis Subscription

    18 DEC 2014 10:39

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft guidance for consultation recommending that use of ustekinumab (Stelara; Janseen-Cilag) on the NHS for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis in specific circumstances. NICE rejected the drug in May 2014 but, following the introduction of a patient access scheme, has proposed a reversal of this decision. ...

  • SMC December 2014 decisions Subscription

    18 DEC 2014 10:31

    In the latest round of decisions by the Scottish Medicines Consortium(SMC), a number of medicines have been accepted for use in NHS Scotland; obinutuzumab (Gazyvaro; Roche), pemetrexed (Alimta; Eli Lilly), pomalidomide (Imnovid; Celegene), umeclidinium (Incruse; GlaxoSmithKline), cholecalciferol 25,000 international units oral solution ...

  • Rezolsta available for HIV Subscription

    17 DEC 2014 17:02

    Rezolsta, a darunavir 800mg and cobicistat 150mg combination tablet, is now available from Janssen for the treatment of HIV in adults. NHS list price, 30 tablets, £317.24. 

  • E-cigarettes and tobacco control in Scotland Subscription

    17 DEC 2014 17:00

    The Scottish Government is consulting on proposals to limit young people’s access to e-cigarettes and to curb smoking in cars with young people. Full details of the proposals can be found on the Scottish government’s website. Comments can be submitted until 2 January 2015. 

  • Managing diabetes NPA resource Subscription

    17 DEC 2014 17:00

    The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has produced a diabetes resource pack for community pharmacy. ‘Managing diabetes in community pharmacy’ will be distributed to members of the NPA in December 2014. 

  • Risk of hyperglycaemia for diabetes patients using faulty insulin pens Subscription

    17 DEC 2014 16:45

    People with diabetes using insulin pens from a number of faulty batches manufactured by Owen Mumford are at risk of hyperglycaemia.

  • Sick day rules for reducing patients’ risk of acute kidney injury (AKI)

    Initiative seeks to protect patients from acute kidney injury

    16 DEC 2014 15:08 By Gareth Malson

    If you have not yet heard of sick day rules for reducing patients’ risk of acute kidney injury (AKI), you probably will soon.

  • Sue Sharpe, the chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, said that when NHS England launched its consultation, it said the sector could expect a further document on the proposed features of its strategic framework for commissi

    Leaders undeterred by missing commissioning plan for pharmacy Subscription

    15 DEC 2014 16:39 By Ingrid Torjesen
    Comments (1)

    Pharmacy bodies remain hopeful that pharmacy will play a meaningful role in new models of NHS care, despite the lack of a formal response to the Call to Action consultation.

  • Use of antiretroviral therapy could contribute to a reduction in HIV virulence at the population level, study finds

    Use of antiretroviral therapy will drive down HIV virulence Subscription

    15 DEC 2014 16:35
    Comments (1)

    HIV is evolving relatively rapidly, which is contributing to a reduction in HIV virulence at the population level, say researchers writing in PNAS.

  • Clinical trials of the VSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine have been halted because some participants developed joint pain after receiving the injection, says a press release issued by the University Hospitals of Geneva

    Ebola clinical trial suspended after volunteers complain of joint pains Subscription

    12 DEC 2014 16:49 By Joanna Lyford

    A phase I clinical trial of the fast-tracked Ebola vaccine VSV-ZEBOV has been halted in Switzerland because some trial participants developed mild joint pain.

  • Duaklir Genuair now available Subscription

    12 DEC 2014 11:30

    Duaklir Genuair (aclidinium bromide and formoterol fumarate) dry powder inhaler 340μg/12μg is now available from AstraZeneca for use as a maintenance brochodilator to relieve symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults. Net price: 1 x 60-dose inhaler, £32.50.

  • Capoten interactions Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 13:27

    The summary of product characteristics of Capoten (captopril; Bristol-Myers Squibb) now states that this medicine should not be used with aliskiren-containing products in patients with diabetes or renal impairment. In addition, dual blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) through the combined use of ACE-inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers or aliskiren is not recommended. 

  • NICE recommends Glivec for GIST recurrence Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 13:26

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final guidance to the NHS recommending Glivec (imatinib; Novartis) for up to three years for people who have had a gastro-intestinal stromal tumour (GIST) removed and who are at high risk of the cancer recurring.       

  • Xagrid in the paediatric population Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 13:21

    The summary of product characteristics of Xagrid (anagrelide hydrochloride; Shire) has been updated to include more information on how to use the medicine to treat children, following the completion of a paediatric investigation plan. 

  • Ofev approved by CHMP Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 13:18

    The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), part of the European Medicines Agency, gave the orphan medicine Ofev (nintedanib; Boehringer Ingelheim) a positive opinion for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

  • Exviera and Viekira recommended by CHMP Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 11:10

    The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), part of the European Medicines Agency, gave positive opinions for Exviera (dasabuvir; AbbVie) and Viekirax (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir; AbbVie) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Both products were reviewed under accelerated assessment and belong to a new generation of antiviral products for chronic hepatitis C infection that have high cure rates. 

  • Cerdelga approved by CHMP Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 11:09

    The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), part of the European Medicines Agency, has recommended granting a marketing authorisation for Cerdelga (eliglustat; Genzyme), an orphan medicine for the treatment of Gaucher disease type 1. 

  • Stelara side effects Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 11:04

    Skin exfoliation and exfoliative dermatitis have been added to the list of uncommon and rare side effects associated with Stelara (ustekinumab; Janssen-Cilag), respectively, in the medicine’s summary of product characteristics. If these symptoms occur, appropriate therapy should be instituted and ustekinumab discontinued. 

  • Eculizumab recommended by NICE Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 11:00

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final draft guidance recommending eculizumab (Soliris, Alexion) to treat the rare disease atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (aHUS). The draft recommendation depends on certain arrangements being in place. Details can found on the NICE website.     

  • Nalmefene recommended by NICE Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 10:54

    Selincro (nalmefene; Lundbeck), a drug that can help people who are dependent on alcohol to cut down on the amount they drink, has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). NICE says nalmefene should be available as a treatment for those who regularly drink large amounts of alcohol. The NHS is required to fund the treatment within ...

  • AS Saliva Orthana drug tariff change Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 10:48

    AS Saliva Orthana 50ml and 500ml sprays are now CE marked medical devices listed in Part IXA of the Drug Tariff. The AS Saliva Orthana product entry has been removed from Part XV (Borderline substances) of the Drug Tariff. This does not apply, however, to AS Orthana Lozenges and a separate entry will be reinstated under artificial saliva substitutes in the Part XVIIA of the January Drug Tariff. This will not affect reimbursement. 

  • Almus statin reformulation Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 10:46

    The Almus simvastatin 20mg and 40mg tablets have been reformulated. As a result, the product appearance has changed. This change came into effect in September 2014.

  • UK Prime Minister, David Cameron (pictured) commissioned a review to look at the dangers posed by drug-resistant superbugs. The review predicts that 10 million people will die every year by 2050 due to antimicrobial resistance

    Antimicrobial resistance will lead to an additional 10 million deaths each year worldwide by 2050 Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 10:16 By Ingrid Torjesen

    Failure to address growing resistance to antibiotics and other drugs will result in the deaths of an additional 10 million people each year worldwide by 2050 and cost the global economy up to US$100tn, projects a UK report.

  • Government advisory board members concerned about removal of anonymity for error reports Subscription

    11 DEC 2014 9:59
    Comments (1)

    Community pharmacists in England may face an increased risk of prosecution for a dispensing error because of changes made to their national contract, according to some members of a government advisory board.

  • Pfizer offers settlement in class action over Parkinson’s drug Cabaser Subscription

    10 DEC 2014 16:32

    Company has offered to settle a class action brought by more than 150 patients in Australia who allege they were never warned about the side effects of treatment.

  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors could play a role in patients with glioblastoma (pictured) and brain metastases, study finds

    Possible role for immune checkpoint inhibitors in glioblastoma Subscription

    10 DEC 2014 11:15

    Researchers have discovered that brain metastases harbour high densities of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes, which provide an immunoactive environment.

  • The aides aegypti or yellow fever mosquito transmits the yellow fever virus. The yellow fever virus causes deaths in 20-50% of unvaccinated patients and induces changes in the expression of some 800 genes, recent study finds

    Early effects of yellow fever virus examined Subscription

    10 DEC 2014 10:08

    In the first 72 hours after infection, the yellow fever virus induces changes in the expression of nearly 800 genes, scientists have discovered.

  • France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg suspend 25 generic drug licences manufactured by GVK Biosciences generics pending the outcome of an investigation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), pictured

    France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg suspend drug licences for some GVK Biosciences generics Subscription

    9 DEC 2014 16:04 By Debbie Andalo

    Four European countries have suspended the marketing authorisations for 25 generic medicines tested by GVK Biosciences at its plant in Hyderabad, India.

  • Survey suggests US doctors are changing their prescribing habits for opioid drugs Subscription

    9 DEC 2014 12:14

    Many primary care physicians are less likely to prescribe opioids now than a year ago, according to a survey of US doctors.

  • Scientists from the Medical Research Council have created the first enzymes made from artificial genetic material

    MRC scientists create artificial enzymes Subscription

    9 DEC 2014 10:39

    Scientists at the Medical Research Council have created the world’s first enzymes made entirely from artificial genetic material.

  • Hyoscine patches on the Drug Tariff Subscription

    5 DEC 2014 14:24

    The pack of two hyoscine transdermal patches 1mg/72hours has been added to Category C in the December Drug Tariff without notice in the preface. Therefore, contractors who are dispensing hyoscine transdermal patches 1mg/72hours should ensure that they endorse the prescription appropriately, with the pack size they have used.

  • Strength of Duphalac Subscription

    5 DEC 2014 14:23

    The strength of Duphalac (lactulose; Abbott) solution had been amended from 3.35g/5ml to 3.335g/5ml on the summary of product characteristics. The actual strength of the product has not changed, only the way that it is expressed.

  • 'Realising the value' programme Subscription

    5 DEC 2014 14:21

    NHS England has launched the ‘Realising the value’ programme, a new initiative which aims to empower people and communities to take more control of their health. Through this programme, NHS England will award a grant of up to £500,000 to a charity or not-for-profit organisation to identify evidence-based approaches to self-care. The deadline for applications is 9 January 2014. More information is available from the

  • There has been an increase in pharmacy flu vaccinations in Wales between 2013 and 2014

    Pharmacy flu vaccinations increase in Wales Subscription

    5 DEC 2014 11:07 By Gareth Malson

    Nearly 8,000 people were vaccinated against influenza at Welsh pharmacies in 2013–2014, according to data published by the Welsh Government.

  • NICE guideline on colorectal cancer Subscription

    4 DEC 2014 11:25

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published an updated clinical guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of people with colorectal cancer. The new recommendations clarify the use of colonic stents to keep the bowel open in the management of curable bowel obstructions caused by colorectal cancer. The guideline is available from the NICE website.

  • Pharmacy leaders call on politicians to sign up to community pharmacy manifesto Subscription

    4 DEC 2014 11:17

    A manifesto intended to put community pharmacy at the heart of healthcare delivery in primary care has been launched at the House of Commons by Sir Keith Barron, MP.

  • Uruguay delays plans to allow the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes in pharmacies

    Uruguay delays plans to sell cannabis in pharmacies Subscription

    4 DEC 2014 11:13 By Bernard Murphy

    Marijuana will not be sold in pharmacies in Uruguay until March 2015, the National Drugs Board (JND) has announced.

  • Pharmacist Reena Barai wins the 'I love my pharmacist' competition organised by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in collaboration with IPC Media and Woman’s Weekly magazine

    'I Love My Pharmacist' winner announced Subscription

    4 DEC 2014 10:33

    Pharmacist Reena Barai has won the ‘I love my pharmacist’ competition

  • Initial Fluad investigations find no manufacturing defect Subscription

    3 DEC 2014 16:03

    Preliminary investigations have found no manufacturing defect in the influenza vaccine Fluad, which has been linked to the deaths of 13 older people in Italy.

  • Robert Blyth, former PJ editor, dies Subscription

    3 DEC 2014 15:59

    Robert Blyth, FRPharmS, who edited The Pharmaceutical Journal from 1961 to 1986, has died. A pharmaceutical journalist for the greater part of his career, he died on 27 November 2014, aged 93.

  • Reema Caddies, telepharmacist for helpline NHS 111 at Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Local Care Direct

    Triaging urgent care patients via a non-emergency telephone helpline Subscription

    1 DEC 2014 0:00 By Reema Caddies

    Reema Caddies splits her time working between urgent care helpline NHS 111 at Yorkshire Ambulance Service and managing medicines for Local Care Direct, which operates an out-of-hours GP service.

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