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Issue : The Pharmaceutical Journal, 12 September 2015, Vol 295, No 7879

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  • Take your medicine with snakes Subscription

    11 SEP 2015 10:46 By Michael Franks

    Recently I received a prescription for Creon capsules and the dose was take two with meals and one with snakes. When a family member of the patient picked up the medicine I pointed out that the patient must have a strange diet because I would have thought it should be one taken with snacks rather than snakes. He laughed and said she only eats one rattlesnake per day! Michael Franks London

  • The ‘de-listing’ of certain treatments from the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund was inevitable with budgets becoming tighter but innovation in drug development must not suffer.

    Encouraging pharmaceutical innovation must come first Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 13:46

    The ‘de-listing’ of certain treatments from the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund was inevitable with budgets becoming tighter but innovation in drug development must not suffer.

  • UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (pictured) wants patients in England to have read-and-write access to their GP medical record via smartphones from 2016 and plans to give patients access to their entire medical record by 2018

    Patient access to medical records: proceed with caution Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 13:42
    Comments (1)

    There are a number of practical issues to consider if patients are to be given full access to their own medical records.

  • When women had genital tract infections, different forms of hormonal contraception affected immune markers involved in acquisition of HIV. In the image, woman taking the pill

    Hormonal contraceptives combined with genital infections alter immunity to HIV-1 Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 13:34

    When women had genital tract infections, different forms of hormonal contraception affected immune markers involved in acquisition of HIV.

  • Researchers found that stopping antihypertensive treatment in older patients with mild cognitive deficits does not slow their cognitive function. In the image, an elderly woman

    Stopping antihypertensives does not slow cognitive decline in older patients Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 12:19

    In patients over 75 years, low blood pressure can worsen cognitive decline, but researchers found that stopping antihypertensives did not help.

  • A new crop of biologic drugs promises to usher asthma treatment into the realm of personalised medicine. In the image, micrograph of lung lining

    Asthma therapies get personal Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 12:13 By Cassandra Willyard

    A new crop of biologic drugs promises to usher asthma treatment into the realm of personalised medicine.

  • Research examining the lifestyle habits of hypertensive patients in Greece has suggested that taking a nap can improve blood pressure. In the image, a man takes a nap

    Midday nappers have lower blood pressure levels and take fewer medications Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 10:35

    Research examining the lifestyle habits of hypertensive patients in Greece has suggested that taking a nap can improve blood pressure.

  • The pharmaceutical industry have, in recent years, focused on development of so-called specialty drugs and have priced them aggressively

    New effective medicines are of no use if they are unaffordable Subscription

    9 SEP 2015 17:18 By John Rother

    In the United States, a campaign has been fighting for transparency in the pricing of specialty drugs.

  • Change in shape for Glucophage tablets Subscription

    9 SEP 2015 15:23

    The shape of Glucophage (metformin) SR tablets 500mg has changed from capsule-shaped biconvex tablets to round biconvex tablets. Additionally, microcrystalline cellulose has been removed from the list of excipients.

  • Consultation on Crohn's disease tests Subscription

    9 SEP 2015 15:21

    The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidance on new tests to help guide treatment for people with Crohn’s disease. The guidance says further research is needed before the tests can be recommended for routine use in the NHS.

  • Community pharmacists should be given read and write access to the health records of palliative care patients to reduce delays in receiving medicines, says the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Scotland. In the image, pharmacist prepares a prescription

    Full health record access for pharmacists ‘would reduce palliative care delays’ Subscription

    9 SEP 2015 14:22 By Stephen Robinson

    RPS Scotland says lack of records access for community pharmacists delays care and risks patient safety.

  • Diabetic patients with high or very high albuminuria were randomly assigned to receive finerenone or placebo. Finerenone significantly reduced urinary albumin-creatinine ratio at day 90 versus placebo. In the image, histology of a human kidney

    New drug for diabetic kidney disease has promising results Subscription

    9 SEP 2015 12:34

    In an international study, finerenone was effective at reducing protein in the urine without the rate of side effects of other drugs in the class.

  • Leaders warn that the government’s proposed reduction in funding may prevent wider access to public health services through community pharmacies. Pictured image, a pharmacist takes a woman's blood pressure

    Cuts to public health funding risk hampering growth of pharmacy-led healthy living schemes, warns RPS Subscription

    9 SEP 2015 10:40 By Stephen Robinson

    Leaders warn that the government’s proposed reduction in funding may prevent wider access to public health services through community pharmacies.

  • Faculty process is too complex Subscription

    8 SEP 2015 16:23 By Gerry Diamond
    Comments (6)

    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has got revalidation and its Faculty raison d’etre wrong. Firstly, revalidation will not demand the level of scrutiny by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) that the RPS Faculty sets. There are three rather tortuous levels to be achieved by the Faculty, and what the GPhC will require will probably not exceed the current level one because it will need a bog standard one-size-fits-all approach to meet a basic rationale for practice of its registrants. T

  • Fever in children is one of the most common clinical symptoms managed by healthcare providers. A child is usually regarded as having a fever if his or her temperature is 38○C or above. In the image, an adult holds a thermometer to a child’s ear

    Childhood fever: assessment in primary care Subscription

    8 SEP 2015 16:10 By Faye Chappell

    Identifying the cause of fever in children is challenging, with its management directed by level of risk.

  • NHS England has carried out its much anticipated second assessment of the Cancer Drugs Fund, further reducing the list of drugs paid for by the fund by 17 drugs for 23 different indications. In the image, a woman in hospital receives cancer treatment

    NHS England cuts treatments from Cancer Drugs Fund Subscription

    8 SEP 2015 12:11 By Suzanne Elvidge

    After a second assessment of the Cancer Drugs Fund, NHS England has further reduced the list by 17 drugs for 23 different indications.

  • Design principles for urgent and emergency care Subscription

    8 SEP 2015 11:10

    NHS England has published a guide to design principles that should be adopted to help local health and social care communities deliver safer, faster and better urgent and emergency care. The document, ‘Transforming urgent and emergency care services in England. Safer, faster, ...

  • Peer discussion online workshop Subscription

    8 SEP 2015 11:08

    Every pharmacist and pharmacy technician in England, Scotland and Wales will be invited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to join an online workshop to share, discuss and identify the best approaches to peer discussion that they can use when reflecting on their practice. The workshop will take place in September 2015 and the number of places is limited so access will be granted on a first-come first-serve basis. All ...

  • August 2015: AWMSG approvals Subscription

    8 SEP 2015 11:07

    The following medicines have been approved for use in NHS Wales by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG): brimonidine gel for treating the symptoms of moderate-to-severe, persistent facial erythema associated with rosacea; Rezolsta (darunavir and cobicistat) for use in combination with other antiretroviral medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection in adults; magnesium aspartate dihydrate for treating and preventing magnesium deficiency in patients aged two ...

  • Olysio updates Subscription

    8 SEP 2015 11:05

    The summary of product characteristics (SPC) for Olysio (simeprevir; Janssen-Cilag) now states that simeprevir inhibits OATP1B1/3, P-gp and BCRP transporters. Additionally, the updated SPC states that hepatic decompensation and hepatic failure, including fatal cases, have been reported in patients taking Olysio in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin and in combination with sofosbuvir. Cases of bradycardia have also been observed when Olysio is used in combination with ...

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