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Issue : The Pharmaceutical Journal, November 2014

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  • Pharmacists from the European Economic Area will have to provide proof of language skills to the pharmacy regulator to be able to work in the UK

    UK pharmacy regulator supports plans to test English language competency Subscription

    3 DEC 2014 9:20 By Debbie Andalo

    The pharmacy regulator is backing UK government proposals that could see pharmacists brought before a fitness-to-practise hearing if his or her lack of proficiency in English poses a risk to patients.

  • The German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA (pictured) has joined WIPO Re:Search consortium, which grants users royalty-free access to intellectual property assets to help address public health needs for NTDs in the world's least developed nations

    Neglected diseases research gets a boost as Merck KGaA joins consortium Subscription

    1 DEC 2014 14:02

    The German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA has joined WIPO Re:Search consortium, a public-private consortium to help find new ways of using intellectual property (IP) for medicines and diagnostics used to treat neglected tropical diseases.

  • Class 2 medicines recall for mitoxantrone Subscription

    26 NOV 2014 16:40

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 2 medicines recall (action within 48 hours) for mitoxantrone 2mg/ml concentrate for solution for infusion, manufactured by Hospira UK Limited. This is because of a number of confirmed out of specification test results obtained during stability studies. Pharmacists should quarantine any remaining stock and Hospira will contact customers who may have received the impacted batches to arrange collection via ...

  • Delay to planned management change of NHS smartcard system Subscription

    26 NOV 2014 15:29

    A planned change to the management of the smartcard system used by pharmacists in England when accessing the electronic prescription service has been delayed.

  • UKMi medicines compliance aid database Subscription

    26 NOV 2014 10:02

    UK Medicines Information (UKMi) has launched a database that makes recommendations on the suitability of solid dose forms of medicines for transfer from the manufacturers’ original packaging to multi-compartment compliance aids ...

  • NHS England issues naloxone warning Subscription

    25 NOV 2014 12:20

    Inappropriate use of naloxone can cause patients severe distress and can be fatal, says NHS England in a Patient Safety Alert.

  • NHS staff in Wales to receive 1% consolidated pay rise Subscription

    24 NOV 2014 17:18

    NHS staff in Wales on ‘Agenda for change’ pay scales will receive a 1% consolidated pay rise from April 2015 in a deal agreed between unions and the Welsh government.

  • Aureocort, demeclocycline, diloxanide and Hydrocortistab out of stock Subscription

    21 NOV 2014 10:16

    The following products are out of stock from Amdipharm Mercury: Aureocort (chlortetracycline hydrochloride/triamcinolone acetonide) ointment 3.09%/1%w/w, 15g; Co-phenotrope (diphenoxylate hydrochloride/atropine sulphate) tablets 2.5/0.25mg x 100; demeclocycline hydrochloride capsules 150mg x 28; diloxanide tablets 500mg x 30; Hydrocortistab (hydrocortisone acetate) injection ampoules 25mg/ml x 10. Supply is expected to resume by June 2015.

  • Becoming an independent prescriber

    How to become an independent prescriber Subscription

    21 NOV 2014 10:16 By Anja St.Clair Jones

    Gaining a non-medical prescribing qualification allows pharmacists to diagnose conditions and prescribe medicines to patients. If you are innovative in your practice and think laterally, many opportunities present themselves, says independent prescriber Anja St Clair Jones.

  • Efcortesol and epoprostenol out of stock Subscription

    21 NOV 2014 10:12

    Efcortesol (hydrocortisone sodium phosphate) solution for injection ampoules 100mg/ml x 5 and epoprostenol powder and solvent for solution for infusion powder 0.5mg are currently out of stock from Amdipharm Mercury. Supply should resume by March 2015.

  • Bupivicaine, digoxin, Deltastab and Hytrin out of stock Subscription

    21 NOV 2014 10:11

    The following products are out of stock from Amdipharm Mercury: bupivacaine hydrochloride solution for infusion 0.1%w/v and 0.125%w/v, both 250ml x 20; digoxin solution for injection 250µg/ml, 2ml x 10; Deltastab (prednisolone acetate) injection ampoules 25mg/ml x 10; Hytrin (terazosin) tablets 10mg. Supply is expected to resume in February 2015.

  • Morphgesic and trifluoperazide out of stock Subscription

    21 NOV 2014 10:09

    Morphgesic (morphine sulphate) SR tablets 100mg x 60 and trifluoperazide tablets 1mg x 112 are currently out of stock from Amdipharm Mercury. Supply is expected to resume by January 2015. 

  • Compliance rates with hand hygieine standards are below 50% in most healthcare settings, suggests a US study

    Hospital workers wash their hands less frequently as their shifts progress Subscription

    20 NOV 2014 15:07 By Coeli Carr

    Hospital employees who work with patients wash their hands less frequently as they get deeper into their shifts, a study finds.

  • Vitamin B and folic acid supplements in elderly people do not improve memory or cognitive skills in elderly people

    Vitamin B supplements may not increase cognitive performance in older people Subscription

    20 NOV 2014 9:42 By Coeli Carr

    The cognitive performance of elderly participants involved in a two-year study did not benefit from vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements.

  • Wear gloves with Sublimaze Subscription

    19 NOV 2014 14:47

    The summary of product characteristics for Sublimaze (fentinyl citrate; Janssen-Cilag) now states that gloves should be worn when opening an ampoule. Accidental dermal exposure should be treated by rinsing the affected area with water. Use of soap, alcohol, and other cleaning materials that may cause chemical or physical abrasions to the skin should be avoided.

  • Breastfeeding mothers may lose out if recent domperidone warnings are heeded Subscription

    19 NOV 2014 14:45

    The benefits of using domperidone to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers outweigh its risks, argues a researcher at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

  • Antibiotic resistance a 'threat to public safety' in Europe Subscription

    18 NOV 2014 15:45

    Increasing bacterial resistance across Europe, particularly to carbapenems and polymixin antibiotics, is a “threat to public safety”.

  • Teenagers and young adults with kidney disease use smartphones to help them remember to take their medicines, study suggests

    Smartphones help to improve medicine adherence in teenagers and young adults Subscription

    18 NOV 2014 11:11 By Coeli Carr

    Half of teenagers and young adults with kidney disease have used smartphones to help them remember to take their medicines, a study suggests.

  • Pharmacists and GPs in Wales call to raise awareness of risks of buying antibiotics from unlicensed websites

    Call to raise awareness of the risks of buying antibiotics from unlicensed websites Subscription

    18 NOV 2014 10:01 By Stephen Robinson

    Pharmacists and GPs in Wales call for steps to underline the risks of buying antibiotics online without a prescription.

  • Case of bird flu confirmed in UK Subscription

    17 NOV 2014 16:31

    A case of avian influenza has been confirmed in the UK by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

  • Chlamydia screening services Subscription

    17 NOV 2014 9:54

    Public Health England (PHE) has published guidance to support commissioning of high quality chlamydia screeening services in general practice and community pharmacies. The guidance is available from PHE’s website.

  • Physical activity framework Subscription

    14 NOV 2014 15:56

    Public Health England has released a publication: ‘Everybody active, every day: a framework to embed physical activity into daily life’. It outlines an evidence-based approach for national and local action to address the physical inactivity ‘epidemic’.

  • Lorazepam supply disruption Subscription

    14 NOV 2014 15:53

    Pfizer is expecting existing stock of Ativan (lorazepam) solution for injection 4mg/ml to be exhausted by the week commencing 17 November 2014 and expects new stock to be available from the middle of December 2014. Pfizer will experience intermittent supply disruptions from mid-November 2014 through to March 2015. These disruptions are due to manufacturing site issues. Further enquires on 0845 6088866. Medical queries on 01304 616161.  

  • Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England medical director,  is urging patients to use pharmacies more to relieve pressure on GPs that could lead to an additional £300 million NHS boost in winter

    Winter pressure leads to £300m NHS boost and plea to use pharmacies Subscription

    14 NOV 2014 15:50 By Graeme Smith

    The UK Government is to inject an extra £300m into the NHS to help support local health services as winter approaches.

  • Cancer charities and the pharmaceutical industry have expressed concern on the new rules for Cancer drugs Fund, which could lead to some being removed from the fund

    Criticism voiced over new rules for Cancer Drugs Fund Subscription

    14 NOV 2014 15:29 By Graeme Smith

    Cancer charities and the pharmaceutical industry have expressed concerns over the way cancer medicines are appraised after a revised process for assessing drugs available through the Cancer Drugs Fund was published by NHS England.

  • Prepayment certificates website closed on 16 November Subscription

    14 NOV 2014 12:00

    The NHS Business Services Authority says that, because of planned system maintenance, Help with Health Costs online applications for prescription prepayment certificates will be unavailable on 16 November 2014 between 4.30am and 6.30am.

  • 'Pharmacology of the blood brain barrier: Targeting CNS disorders' edited by Thomas P Davis

    Specialised text for those in CNS drug research Subscription

    10 NOV 2014 13:48 By Laurence A. Goldberg

    ‘Pharmacology of the blood brain barrier: targeting CNS disorders’, edited by Thomas P Davis.

  • Hyalase debranded Subscription

    7 NOV 2014 17:10

    Wockhardt UK has debranded Hyalase and it is now known by its generic name, hyaluronidase. There has been no change in formulation.

  • Quality care standards for Wales Subscription

    7 NOV 2014 17:08

    The Welsh Government has published new standards to ensure everyone in Wales receives the same level of high-quality care from the Welsh NHS. A consultation on the standards is available on the Welsh Government website until 26 January 2014.

  • Controlled drugs guideline Subscription

    7 NOV 2014 10:00

    The National Instititute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is developing a guideline on the safe use and management of controlled drugs and is currently consulting on the draft scope. The guideline will provide recommendations for the systems and processes relating to the safe use and management of controlled drugs. The consultation will be available from the NICE website until 1 ...

  • Januvia patient support programme Subscription

    7 NOV 2014 9:51

    Numark and Merck Sharp & Dohme have launched a patient support programme for type 2 diabetes patients who are prescribed Januvia (sitagliptin). The programme provides Numark members with the tools, skills and knowledge required to confidently perform interventions with their patients. Advice on diet, exercise and general lifestyle is also provided as part of the message.

  • App for reducing risk of non-communicable diseases Subscription

    7 NOV 2014 9:49

    The World Health Professions Alliance, supported by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, have launched an app to help individuals and their health professionals reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases. The app, called HealthyScore, helps individuals rate their habits with a traffic light system. Four biometric indicators and four behaviour indicators provide ...

  • Hospital pharmacists may join new NHS strike on 24 November Subscription

    5 NOV 2014 16:41

    Members of the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists are likely to be among NHS workers in England due to go on strike again on 24 November 2014.

  • Improving antimicrobial stewardship (video) Video

    5 NOV 2014 15:24

    Anna Cichowska, consultant in public health strategy for NHS England and Mark Gilchrist, consultant pharmacist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust discuss the challenge of antimicrobial resistance and highlight key areas of concern.’

  • Re-register for BNF and BNFc online access Subscription

    4 NOV 2014 16:01

    Access to the online versions of the British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for Children (BNFc) is changing from to MedicinesComplete, and existing subscribers are being asked to re-register by 7 November 2014. Those who do not re-register will lose online access to the BNF and BNFc. Pharmacy staff working in an NHS contract pharmacy are entitled to gain free online access to these publications. 

  • hypertension-blood-pressure-monitor

    Blood pressure devices giving inaccurate readings, study finds Subscription

    31 OCT 2014 14:00 By Coeli Carr
    Comments (3)

    Blood pressure devices designed for use at home can give inaccurate readings for as many as 15% of users.

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