Issue : The Pharmaceutical Journal, September 2005
A common vision Subscription
This week, members of the pharmacy profession gathered in Manchester for the annual British Pharmaceutical Conference. The theme of the conference, "A common vision for health", was illustrated by many speakers who looked to the future in their fields, be they in the pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice, regulation and professional development, and the broader NHS.
A debate which bears repetition? Subscription
Richard Schmidt (PJ, 17 September, p336) questions why homoeopathic doses of quinine are not used to treat malaria. The short answer is, they are. In Homoeopathic Medical Repertory1, both china officinalis (Hahnemann's original peruvian bark) and the closely allied china sulph (sulphite of quinine) are two of the top 14 or so remedies listed.
Is the Lancet trial really valid? Subscription
I wish to raise a number of concerns about the recent meta-analysis of homoeopathy by Shang et al reported in the Lancet1, which has generated much discussion in the PJ. The trial is based on 110 trials of homoeopathy and 110 trials of conventional medicine, which are said to be matched to the homoeopathy trials, although the criteria for matching are not clearly stated.
Logic lacking in editorial Subscription
The editorial entitled "Homoeopathy hubbub" (PJ, 3 September, p272) is open minded but seems to have forgotten that journalists, like scientists, should also have critical minds. I am neither for nor against homoeopathy per se, but the logic of the editorial seems somewhat lacking.
More than we realise? Subscription
Recent correspondents to the PJ have discussed the need for more pharmacists in documentary programmes. It was good to see an articulate young pharmacist in a recent edition of City Hospital giving advice on pain-killers. I am not sure if he has a regular slot or if this was a one-off. Perhaps there are more pharmacists appearing in local media than we realise?
Chondroitin and warfarin: an interaction of note? Subscription
Recently, a customer in the pharmacy asked me if it was OK to take chondroitin while also taking warfarin. I consulted the usual resources: the British National Formulary and the National Pharmacy Association. No interaction was listed in the BNF and the NPA could not find anything.
Concern over tablet presentation Subscription
I acknowledge the issues raised by Elaine Mitchell (PJ, 24 September, p369) regarding the varying appearance of tablets, but suggest she should leave the issue for the Department of Health to address, rather than castigate her colleagues for using generic or imported medicines.
I read with interest the news item on original packs in the PJ (17 September, p329) and the consultation by the Department of Health (www.dh.gov.uk). As a practising community pharmacist, I was particularly interested in the issue regarding the quantity (of tablets or capsules, etc) to dispense when the quantity prescribed is 28 and the original pack contains 30 (and vice versa).
A few problems foreseen Subscription
I applaud the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for its support of the idea of original pack dispensing. However, I can foresee a few problems:
GP surgery will not co-operate Subscription
There has been a lot of discussion about the new contract - I have tried hard to communicate with my local GP surgery by writing letters, telephoning, etc. I am always told that they have no time to speak to me, not even for five minutes.