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Issue : The Pharmaceutical Journal, July 2011

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  • New NHS information web portal launched

    29 JUL 2011 15:53

    Patients and healthcare professionals can now exchange and use information through a web portal launched this week (25 July 2011).

  • COPD quality standard published by NICE

    29 JUL 2011 15:48

    A new quality standard on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

  • Retigabine approved for epilepsy

    29 JUL 2011 15:43

    Retigabine has been approved for controlling seizures in adults with epilepsy by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

  • NICE approves dexamethasone for macular oedema

    29 JUL 2011 15:38

    Dexamethasone has been approved in England and Wales for the treatment of patients with macular oedema by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

  • Students in examination hall (Mrloz/

    Preregistration trainees claim exam conditions affected performance

    28 JUL 2011 16:07

    More than 70 preregistration trainees have complained to their student body because they are concerned that increased stress levels might have affected their performance in this year’s registration examination. They say their increased stress was brought about because of the way the examination was organised.

  • Whispering (Alba/

    Professionals should be prepared to whistle-blow or risk investigation

    27 JUL 2011 15:22

    Health regulators should send a clear signal to professionals that they may be investigated if they fail to raise concerns about colleagues, MPs have indicated. That view is supported by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

  • pharmaceutical scientist (

    Pharmaceutical scientists welcomed into Society’s fold

    27 JUL 2011 15:15

    Pharmaceutical scientists will be able to join the Royal Pharmaceutical Society from October following a vote by RPS members. A special resolution ballot achieved a voter turnout of 8,806 members (24.8 per cent), with 76 per cent voting in favour of creating an RPS pharmaceutical scientist membership category.

  • Alastair Buxton

    Limited opportunities in first wave of patient choice reforms

    26 JUL 2011 17:23

    Diagnostic services and home chemotherapy care are two areas where community pharmacists could provide services under Government plans to open up the NHS to "any qualified provider" (AQP), according to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.

  • Restrictions placed on pioglitazone use

    25 JUL 2011 15:18

    Medicines containing pioglitazone (Actos and Competact) should no longer be prescribed for patients who have bladder cancer or a history of the disease, as well as others who have uninvestigated blood in their urine, the European Medicines Agency has advised.

  • ProScript software approved for 2D-Rx in Wales

    25 JUL 2011 9:40

    Pharmacy software company Rx Systems has received approval from the Welsh Assembly Government to roll out its 2D-Rx ProScript software across Wales. The system streamlines dispensing for pharmacists by allowing them to scan 2D-barcoded prescriptions.

  • Varenicline’s benefits outweigh CV risks says EMA

    22 JUL 2011 15:15

    Varenicline’s benefits in helping people to stop smoking outweigh the increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) events, the European Medicines Agency has confirmed.

  • Heart and stethoscope ( creations)

    NHS has "missed the boat" for ARB switching

    22 JUL 2011 15:10

    Switching patients to generic losartan does not represent good value for money for the NHS, a leading cardiology pharmacist has warned.

  • Elderly woman ( Wierink)

    Antidepressants no benefit to dementia patients

    22 JUL 2011 15:00

    Patients with dementia do not benefit from taking sertraline or mirtazapine to treat depression, and are at an increased risk of side effects from the drugs, according to a UK study published online (The Lancet, 18 July 2011).

  • Man given pills ( Arcurs)

    Pain relief eases dementia symptoms

    22 JUL 2011 14:49

    Improved pain management can reduce agitation and aggression in nursing home residents who have moderate-to-severe dementia, a Norwegian study has shown. Systematic treatment with analgesics could also help reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in this patient population, the authors suggest.

  • Falls risk with change of non-SSRI

    22 JUL 2011 13:23

    Nursing home residents are at a high risk of falls following a change in non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication, reveals a study published online (Journal of Gerontology, 15 July 2011).

  • Polypharmacy-death link among elderly remains unclear

    22 JUL 2011 13:11

    The relationship between polypharmacy and mortality in the elderly remains unclear, according to research published in Drugs & Ageing (2011;28:547).

  • MPharm course graduates

    UCLan’s first MPharm students graduate

    22 JUL 2011 13:04

    The first cohort of students has graduated from the University of Central Lancashire’s MPharm course, which was established four years ago.

  • Triptorelin benefit in breast cancer

    22 JUL 2011 12:50

    Triptorelin, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue, reduces the incidence of chemotherapy-induced early menopause in young women with breast cancer, a phase III study reveals (JAMA 2011;306:269).

  • Starting antiretrovirals early helps prevent HIV spread

    22 JUL 2011 12:46

    Starting antiretroviral treatment early helps prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and delays the onset of HIV-related clinical events, new international research has shown.

  • Pharmaceutical innovation Subscription

    21 JUL 2011

    Gino Martini has been appointed to lead a new research group at King’s College London as professor of pharmaceutical innovation. Professor Martini is a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  • Supply Issues - Fersaday (23 July 2011)

    21 JUL 2011 17:24

    Fersaday Fersaday (ferrous fumarate) tablets 100mg will be unavailable from Goldshield until the end of July 2011. Medical information on 08700 703033, stock-related information on 020 8588 9273.

  • Prescription Products (Arzerra, Hizentra, Paracetamol)

    21 JUL 2011 17:15

    ArzerraArzerra (ofatumumab) concentrate for solution for infusion 20mg/ml is now available from GlaxoSmithKline in a revised formulation containing an acetate-based buffer. These packs replace existing packs containing citrate buffer, which are available until stocks are exhausted. Net price: 3 x 100mg, £546; 1x 1,000mg, £1,820.  

  • SPC changes (Exelon, Ganfort, Ozurdex)

    21 JUL 2011 17:09

    ExelonExelon (rivastigmine; Novartis) can caused dose-related gastrointestinal disorders, including diarrhoea. Patients who show symptoms of dehydration resulting from prolonged vomiting or diarrhoea can be managed with intravenous fluids and dose reduction or discontinuation of treatment according to the updated summary of product characteristics.

  • Discontinued products (Cortisone acetate, Estradiol)

    21 JUL 2011 17:07

    Cortisone acetateCortisone acetate tablets 25mg have been discontinued by Sanofi-aventis. Further information on 01483 505515 (email

  • Future events (contractual changes)

    21 JUL 2011 16:59

    The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee is holding a series of regional events to allow contractors to ask questions about the cost of service inquiry, the new medicine service and other changes to the pharmacy contract. Events will be held in July, August and September. Further details from the PSNC website.

  • Awards (Oncology)

    21 JUL 2011 16:57

    The Excellence in Oncology Awards 2011 are now open for entries from pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Deadline for entries 29 July 2011. Further information from the Excellence in Oncology website.

  • Corrections (Sandocal +D 600)

    21 JUL 2011 16:53

    Sandocal +D600

  • Wants - Patient adherence

    21 JUL 2011 16:45

    Pharmacists are invited to share their approach to supporting patients with taking medicines and promoting adherence.

  • More details out on “any qualified provider” criteria

    21 JUL 2011 11:47

    Criteria that the Department of Health expects any qualified provider (AQP) to meet if he or she wants to deliver NHS services as part of the Government’s health reforms have been published in new guidance.

  • Respiratory disease consultation

    Government wants pharmacists to play key role tackling COPD

    21 JUL 2011 11:42

    The Government is expecting community pharmacists to play a central role in its national strategy to reduce the incidence of respiratory disease in England and improve the care of patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  • Stepping Hill Hospital

    Pharmacy staff assist in Stepping Hill investigation

    21 JUL 2011 11:22

    Stepping Hill Hospital’s pharmacy department has found no evidence of further product interference since the discovery last week that a number of ampoules of saline had been contaminated with insulin.

  • Is this the next Marmite?

    20 JUL 2011 16:13

    You should have received­ your copy of “Medicines, ethics and practice — the professional guide for pharmacists” with this issue of The Journal. And from the front cover to the last page this 35th edition is, well, not the same as previous versions.

  • Viorel_Dudau/

    Bigger bonuses are now up for grabs if you work in community pharmacy Subscription

    20 JUL 2011 15:59

    Community pharmacies are no strangers to quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) thinking. As private contractors, the viability of a community pharmacy business lies in improving quality, doing things differently, making savings and improving margin.

  • It is about time the pharmaceutical industry stopped playing the system Subscription

    20 JUL 2011 15:33

    According to the front page of The Times on 6 June 2011, “Drugs companies must behave in step with society and put people before profits”. This assertion came neither from a social commentator nor a Government minister, but from a letter (ibid, p20) written by no less than Andrew Witty, chief executive officer of GlaxoSmithKline.

  • Motoring’s future: a hat

    20 JUL 2011 By Footler

    Footler’s first car, a 1955 Hillman Minx convertible, had a starting handle, indicator arms and an engine he could maintain himself with a few basic tools. Its design and construction probably had more in common with the Panhard driven by Alfred Vacheron in the 1894 Paris–Rouen road race than with today’s highly engineered machines.

  • Last city of the Incas

    20 JUL 2011 By Footler

  • Professional matters (23/30 July 2011)

    20 JUL 2011 14:13

    July 2011's edition covers:

  • Gazette (PJ, 23/30 July 2011) (RPS members only) Subscription

    20 JUL 2011

    This week's Gazette pages of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society can be viewed as a PDF. Announcements include: Local meeting information and medicines, ethics and practice guide 35th edition publication and distribution.

  • PJ letters (23/30 July 2011) (RPS members only) Subscription

    20 JUL 2011 13:42

    The letters in the attached PDF have been published in the 23/30 July 2011 issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal. Topics include:RPS ballotSpecialsHospital pharmacyRotary movementEnglish languageLetters will no longer be posted in the Join in section of PJ Online.

  • Aspirin tablets (Melinda Fawver|

    Study confirms value of low-dose aspirin

    20 JUL 2011 11:12

    Stopping low-dose aspirin treatment increases the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction for patients with a history of heart disease by nearly two-thirds, according to a BMJ study (online 19 July 2011).

  • Ash Soni

    Profession’s profile on the up, says Soni

    20 JUL 2011 11:06

    The profile of pharmacy is on the rise as recognition of the contribution it can make to the Government’s NHS reforms is being acknowledged at all levels, according to Ash Soni, the profession’s representative on the NHS Future Forum.

  • H pylori (Medical Photo Library)

    Triple H pylori eradication therapy for two weeks more effective than shorter four-drug regimens

    20 JUL 2011 10:58

    Triple-drug therapy for two weeks is more effective than shorter, four-drug regimens at treating Helicobacter pylori infection, new data suggest (Lancet online, 20 July 2011).

  • Graduates (Hxdbzxy|

    Full marks for School of Pharmacy in graduate employment survey

    19 JUL 2011 14:31

    The School of Pharmacy, University of London, had one of the top graduate employment records for any higher education institute in the UK last year, according to official figures released last week (15 July 2011).

  • Cigarettes in ashtray (Kati Molin|

    Public health strategy update sets out proposed responsibilities of health and well-being boards

    19 JUL 2011 14:03

    Smoking cessation and alcohol and drug misuse services, which have traditionally been the remit of the NHS, will now fall under local authority control as part of the Government’s public health reforms.

  • Money and tablets (Roughcollie|

    Details of value-based pricing system for new medicines still being hammered out

    18 JUL 2011 14:26

    The Government has confirmed that it will bring in a value-based system for deciding the price of new medicines but has yet to decide which additional factors, beyond cost and clinical effectiveness, will become part of the equation.

  • Review planned for Welsh community pharmacy

    18 JUL 2011 14:17

    Community pharmacy in Wales is to be the focus of a policy review by the National Assembly for Wales — the elected body responsible for holding the Welsh Government to account.

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