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Issue : The Pharmaceutical Journal, 6 June 2015, Vol 294, No 7865

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  • Although becoming an independent prescriber would equip pharmacists with valuable skills, it is unnecessary for all pharmacists to obtain the qualification as most pharmacy roles do not require it. In the image, pharmacists run through a small door

    Potential problems of independent prescribing for all Subscription

    4 JUN 2015 14:10
    Comments (1)

    Although becoming an independent prescriber would equip pharmacists with valuable skills, it may not be necessary for all pharmacists to obtain the qualification. 

  • The European Commission (EC) has released a document outlining how it plans to use scientific advice in forming policy. The proposed mechanism fills the void created when the key advisory role of chief scientific adviser (CSA) was scrapped

    Keeping the science in EU policy Subscription

    4 JUN 2015 14:09

    A high level group of scientists may offer a solution to the controversial scrapping of the European Commission’s chief scientific adviser role.

  • As the pharmaceutical industry shifts from mass manufacture towards personalised medicine, 3D printing could become part of the drug production line.

    3D printing: the future of manufacturing medicine? Subscription

    2 JUN 2015 14:22 By Katharine Sanderson
    Comments (1)

    As the pharmaceutical industry shifts from mass manufacture towards personalised medicine, 3D printing could become part of the drug production line.

  • New Society Fellows Subscription

    2 JUN 2015 14:07

    In accordance with the powers vested in it, the Panel of Fellows appointed under section 4 of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s regulations has designated the following 18 members as Fellows of the Society for distinction in the profession of pharmacy. Karen Ang Seok Chin Acott Colin Andrew Baldwin Patricia Elizabeth Black Richard Stanley Bourne Harry Andrew Crook Rachel Ann Elliott Gail Susanne Fleming Jason ...

  • Error in RPS Annual Review 2014 Subscription

    1 JUN 2015 17:09 By Neal Patel

    In the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Annual Review 2014, printed in the 23/30 May 2015 issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal, we incorrectly referred to the Scottish Government’s ‘Prescription for excellence: a vision and action plan for the right pharmaceutical care through integrated partnerships and innovation’ as ‘The right medicine: a strategy for pharmaceutical care in Scotland’, an earlier strategy taken forward by the then Scottish Executive. Online versions have ...

  • The author states that if we rely a bit less on pharmacotherapy, and give a bit more consideration to the environmental implications of our inner fish we can deal with the obesity problem more effectively. In the image, a fish out of water, in a city

    Weight loss drugs: the wrong answer to the obesity problem Subscription

    1 JUN 2015 16:50 By David Katz
    Comments (1)

    Weight loss drugs are not the solution to achieve sustainable weight loss and improve overall health.

  • Synthetic marijuana known as spice

    UK government plans to ban psychoactive drugs Subscription

    1 JUN 2015 15:06 By Janna Lawrence

    The UK government is introducing a bill that would bring a blanket ban on the production and supply of any drug that has a psychoactive effect. 

  • NICE recommends new treatment for constipation Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 16:40

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued final draft guidance recommending naloxegol for constipation. Naloxegol (Moventig; AstraZeneca) is recommended as an option for treating opioid-induced constipation in adults whose symptoms have not adequately responded to laxatives. 

  • NICE recommends new psoriasis treatment Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 16:38

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued final draft guidance recommending a new treatment for psoriasis. Secukinumab (Cosentyx; Novartis) is recommended as an option for treating some adults with plaque psoriasis if they are unable to take standard systemic therapies and if the drug is provided with the agreed patient access scheme discount.

  • Newer contraceptive pills linked to higher risk of clots

    Newer contraceptive pills associated with higher risk of clots Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 15:26 By Ingrid Torjesen

    Combined contraceptive pills containing one of the newer progestogens are associated with a higher risk of venous thromboembolism than pills containing older progestogens, a study has found.

  • Buying a pharmacy is not as easy as it once was Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 15:19 By Mike Brunt

    As someone fortunate enough to have retired relatively wealthy from self-employment within community pharmacy some 20 years ago, and having made even more from investment since, I found the article written by Sean Dixon on buying a pharmacy (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:531) interesting, particularly in his breakdown of the main annual revenue available from the sector.

  • Tuesday 7 July: RPS Faculty webinar Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 15:12

    Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Faculty webinar, ‘The Faculty Uncovered’. All you need to know about working towards the Faculty assessment and becoming a member of the Faculty. Find out what is the Faculty, how it fits and benefits your professional development and recognition. Online 1–2pm. To find out more information and to register and access the webinar, visit the RPS website.

  • Wednesday 1 July: South London Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 15:11

    Local practice forum event, ‘Minor ailments’. Postgrad Centre, Croydon University Hospital, 530 London Road, Croydon, Surrey CR7 7YE. Event 7.30–9.30pm. Book via the RPS website.

  • A recent study showed that standard and high doses of antihypertensive medications were not associated with an increased risk of falls. In the image, an elderly person with a walking frame is helped by a younger person

    Elderly people taking antihypertensive drugs do not have an increased risk of falls Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 15:03

    Withholding antihypertensive drugs to prevent falls in elderly people may not be a justifiable practice, study suggests.

  • A website will allow you to promote your services to a wider audience and is more flexible and cheaper than print advertising

    How to create a website for your independent pharmacy Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 13:42 By Kamal Mahasuria

    Is your pharmacy business lacking a website? Kamal Mahasuria, pharmacist and director of The Pharmacy Website Company, explains why you need an online presence and how you can build one.

  • Lipid-lowering drugs lower the risk of stroke in elderly people, study suggests.

    Lipid lowering drugs may lower risk of stroke in elderly people Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 11:38

    Research backs the idea that lipid lowering drugs may prevent stroke in healthy older people.

  • Cancer patients’ attitudes towards alternative therapies dictate their use

    Cancer patients’ attitudes towards alternative therapies dictate their use Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 11:34

    Attitudes and beliefs towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are better predictors of whether patients will use these therapies than their clinical or demographic characteristics, according to a survey of patients published in Cancer. 

  • Welsh Pharmacy Board election 2015 result Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 10:18

    This year the Welsh Pharmacy Board received two nominations for four places on the Welsh Pharmacy Board and, therefore, an election was not required. I can confirm that the following members were elected unopposed to the Welsh Pharmacy Board to serve for a period of three years: Mair Davies, any sector Cheryl Way, hospital sector

  • Scottish Pharmacy Board election 2015 result Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 10:16

    There were four nominations received for four places on the Scottish Pharmacy Board and, therefore, an election was not required. I can confirm that the following members were elected unopposed to the Scottish Pharmacy Board to serve for a period of three years: Anne Boyter John Cromarty David Thomson Elaine Thomson

  • English Pharmacy Board election 2015 result Subscription

    29 MAY 2015 10:15

    I have received the following report from UK Engage of votes cast in the recent election of members of the English Pharmacy Board. Electorate  Number of eligible votes 22,567 Votes cast by post 153 Votes cast online 2,490 Turnout 11.71%

  • David Branford

    Chair of RPS England board loses seat by just 16 votes Subscription

    28 MAY 2015 16:31 By Stephen Robinson

    David Branford departs the English Pharmacy Board after five years, following a close election result.

  • The thyroid is a small gland located in the front of the neck. The thyroid hormones stimulate diverse metabolic activities, leading to regulation of the basal metabolic rate. In the image, scanning electron micrograph of follicles found in the thyroid

    Thyroid dysfunction and drug interactions Subscription

    Comments (1)

    Correcting thyroid function can require dose adjustment of common medicines to prevent serious complications.

  • Joining the pharmacy dots will save the NHS Subscription

    28 MAY 2015 14:08 By Graham Phillips

    NHS chief executive Simon Stephens published his NHS ‘Five year forward view’ in 2014 to almost unanimous acclaim. Now the general election is over, it will be full-steam ahead with the ‘Five year forward view’, and we must grasp the opportunity it presents.

  • The on-going battle by Pfizer (logo pictured) to protect its patent of Lyrica (pregabalin) as GPs voted for “urgent” legislation to end patent protection for specific indications for branded medicines.

    GPs call for legislation to end patent protection for specific drugs Subscription

    28 MAY 2015 13:49 By Debbie Andalo
    Comments (1)

    While patent protection is important for stimulating drug development, a second medical use patent for pregabalin has caused “considerable” work for pharmacies.

  • Manica Balasegaram executive director of MSF

    Countries to explore pooled procurement of vaccines to reduce costs Subscription

    28 MAY 2015 12:12

    The World Health Assembly, the decision making body of the World Health Organization, has passed resolution that aims to improve the affordability and accessibility of vaccines. 

  • David Reissner, partner at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

    Setting up a pharmacy on GP premises: the law Subscription

    28 MAY 2015 10:43 By David Reissner

    Pharmacy owners may have considered locating their businesses on GP premises to increase their dispensing volume. However, they need to ensure they are acting within the law.

  • Pactamycin, an antibiotic isolated from Streptomyces pactum, opens a new frontier in anticancer drug development, researchers say. In the image, scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Streptomyces bacteria

    Pactamycin analogues open ‘new frontier’ in anticancer drug development Subscription

    28 MAY 2015 9:34

    Researchers are looking at two promising analogues of an old compound with potent antitumour activity, but abandoned because of its toxicity.

  • Primary chemotherapy followed by delayed surgery is an acceptable alternative to primary surgery, the current standard of care, in women with advanced ovarian cancer, trial results show. In the image, ovarian cancer

    Receiving chemotherapy before surgery may benefit women with ovarian cancer Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 15:14 By Joanna Lyford

    Primary chemotherapy followed by delayed surgery is an acceptable alternative to primary surgery, the current standard of care, in women with advanced ovarian cancer, according to the results of a clinical trial.

  • New partnerships between the pharmaceutical industry, academia and politicians are needed to generate new antibiotics to fight antimicrobial resistance, according to a global action plan approved by the World Health Assembly (pictured)

    WHO publishes its plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 15:13

    New partnerships between the pharmaceutical industry, academia and politicians are needed to generate new antibiotics and other technologies to fight antimicrobial resistance, according to a global action plan approved by the World Health Assembly.

  • Oral steroids provide a modest boost to function for patients with sciatica. In the image, an MRI scan of a patient with a lumbar herniated disk.

    Oral steroids provide a modest boost to function for patients with sciatica Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 15:05

    A trial has found giving patients a tapered 15-day course of oral steroids can provide a modest improvement in function.

  • NPA research bursary Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 13:44

    Applications for the National Pharmacy Association’s (NPA) Health Education Foundation Bursary are now open to registered pharmacists. The £10,000 bursary aims to support registered pharmacists who have an interest in developing their skills to undertake research relating to community pharmacy practice. An application pack can be downloaded from ...

  • AWMSG medicines approvals Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 13:40

    The following medicines have been approved for use in NHS Wales by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG): bedaquiline for pulmonary multidrug‑resistant tuberculosis in adult patients as part of an appropriate combination regimen; daclatasvir for chronic hepatitis C virus infection in adults with significant fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis (as part of combination treatment); defibrotide for severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease alongside haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation ...

  • Advice on high-dose ibuprofen updated Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 13:36

    Advice on ibuprofen will be updated in Europe following final approval by the Co-ordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures – Human (part of the European Medicines Agency). Updated advice was recommended by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) following a review by PRAC that confirmed an increased risk of cardiovascular problems at doses at or above 2,400mg of ibuprofen a day. Higher doses of ibuprofen should be avoided in patients with underlying ...

  • New medicines fund increased in Scotland Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 13:32

    The Scottish Government will double the amount of money available to fund treatments for people with rare or end-of-life conditions by increasing the new medicines fund to £80m for 2015–2016. More information is available from the Scottish Government’s website.

  • Medicines optimisation for patients with insomnia Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 13:26

    Keele University, with support from Flynn Pharma, has developed a guide for healthcare professionals about medicines optimisation in patients with insomnia. The guide is available for free at: www.insomnia-medicine.com/

  • Risk of haemorrhage with Vitamin E and anticoagulants Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 13:22

    According to the updated summary of product characteristics, Vitamin E (DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate; Alliance) suspension 100mg/ml may increase the risk of haemorrhage in patients taking anticoagulants. A possible adjustment of the dose of anticoagulants during and after treatment with Vitamin E may be necessary.

  • Thursday 18 June: RPS Faculty webinar Subscription

    27 MAY 2015 12:12

    Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Faculty webinar, ‘RPS Faculty membership – what are benefits?’ Find out what the Faculty is and how it fits and benefits your professional development and recognition. Online 7–8pm. To find out more information and to register and access the webinar, visit the RPS website.

  • The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has announced the results of the 2015 English Pharmacy Board election. Chair of the board David Branford (pictured) lost his seat after his five-year term, two of those as chairman, after receiving 13.9% of the vote.

    English Pharmacy Board election results are announced Subscription

    26 MAY 2015 17:07
    Comments (2)

    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has announced the results of the 2015 English Pharmacy Board election, as voter turnout marginally rose but remained low.

  • New legislation governing how poisons and chemicals can be supplied by pharmacies have been clarified in guidance from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). Nitric acid (pictured) is now a regulated substance under the explosive pre-cursor category

    Guidance clarifies new rules for pharmacies selling poisons and chemicals Subscription

    26 MAY 2015 16:42 By Stephen Robinson

    Changes in legislation prompt the RPS to publish guidance for pharmacists.

  • Europe undertakes review of diabetes drugs after ketoacidosis cases emerge. Simon O’Neill (pictured), from Diabetes UK, said: “It is important that people with diabetes do not stop taking their medication without consulting their doctor."

    EMA to review diabetes drugs after cases of ketoacidosis Subscription

    26 MAY 2015 14:39 By Debbie Andalo

    A spate of acidosis cases in the United States has sparked a review by the European Medicines Agency into reported incidences of potentially life-threatening ketoacidosis linked to drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes.

  • Pregnant women who take the commonly used analgesic paracetamol for more than a week could lead to reproductive problems in their male offspring, suggests a study. In the image, an ultrasound of a baby

    Prolonged paracetamol use in pregnancy could harm male offspring

    26 MAY 2015 10:10 By Vijay Shankar Balakrishnan

    Pregnant women who take the commonly used analgesic paracetamol for more than a week could lead to reproductive problems in their male offspring, suggests a study.

  • ombination therapy with two drugs that target the most common genetic cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) has been found to improve lung function in patients with the disease, according to new research. In the image, CT scan of a patient's lungs with CF

    Lumacaftor-ivacaftor combination improves lung function in cystic fibrosis Subscription

    22 MAY 2015 15:47 By Debbie Andalo

    Combination therapy with two drugs that target the most common genetic cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) has been found to improve lung function in patients with the disease.

  • The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) says that it is ‘imperative’ that hospital pharmacists are given dispensing error defence soon

    ‘Imperative’ hospital pharmacists are given dispensing error defence soon Subscription

    22 MAY 2015 11:08 By Stephen Robinson

    Society restates concern over lack of defence for hospital pharmacists in official response to government consultation.

  • Use of inhaled corticosteroids in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia. In the image, close up of a man using oxygen nasal tubes

    Inhaled corticosteroids in COPD have neutral effect on mortality despite increased pneumonia risk Subscription

    22 MAY 2015 10:29

    Use of inhaled corticosteroids in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia but a neutral or even reduced risk of pneumonia-associated and overall mortality.

  • The global health community needs to act to stem violent attacks against health workers in conflict hotspots, which seriously impede people in need from receiving life-saving health services, says report

    Violence against healthcare staff needs to be stemmed, report urges Subscription

    21 MAY 2015 16:35

    The global health community needs to act to stem violent attacks against health workers in conflict hotspots, which seriously impede people in need from receiving life-saving health services, says a global report by rights advocacy groups.

  • Yeast has been genetically modified to make (S)-reticuline, a precursor to a wide range of therapeutic alkaloids, an important step towards producing such pharmaceuticals by fermentation

    Modified yeasts could be used to produce alkaloid drugs Subscription

    21 MAY 2015 14:54 By Mark Peplow

    Yeast has been genetically modified to make (S)-reticuline, a precursor to a wide range of therapeutic alkaloids. The work marks an important step towards producing such pharmaceuticals by fermentation.

  • Aspirin reduces platelet activation and might be beneficial in diseases involving the pulmonary vasculature such as emphysema. In the image, micrograph of red blood cell platelets

    Aspirin users see slower progression of emphysema Subscription

    21 MAY 2015 12:03

    Regular aspirin use may slow the progression of subclinical emphysema through effects on platelet activation or inflammation, say researchers.

  • Local practice forum events: 18–24 June 2015 Subscription

    19 MAY 2015 11:37

    Thursday 18 June: Highlands & Islands 

  • Jeremy Reginald D’Arcy Billington dies Subscription

    19 MAY 2015 11:30

    On 2 May 2015, Jeremy Reginald D’Arcy Billington, aged 75, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Mr Billington registered with the Society in 1966 and left in 2006. 

  • Two sunscreens, including one manufactured by Boots, have failed sun protection tests, according to research conducted by the consumer watchdog Which? In the image, a woman puts on sunscreen lotion while on the beach

    Boots’ sunscreen lotion fails sun protection test, says Which? Subscription

    19 MAY 2015 9:42

    Two sunscreens, including one manufactured by Boots, have failed sun protection tests, according to research conducted by the UK consumer watchdog Which? 

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