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Issue : PJ July 2015 online

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  • A backlog of consultant pharmacist posts in England yet to be recognised officially is likely to take until 2016 to be cleared. In the image, a hospital pharmacist looks at patient records

    NHS begins process to recognise consultant pharmacist posts in wake of 2013 reforms Subscription

    12 AUG 2015 15:54 By Stephen Robinson

    Loss of national system for approving posts means dozens of positions in England are yet to be recognised officially.

  • New epilepsy app launched Subscription

    3 AUG 2015 14:25

    The Epilepsy Society has launched an app for non-specialist healthcare professionals, including GPs, nurses and pharmacists. The app, called ‘Epilepsy manual’, is free to download on iOS and Android devices and provides comprehensive information about epilepsy.   

  • Medication should be optimised and reviewed daily when patients enter their final days, says a draft guideline from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on end-of-life care. In the image, a young person holds the hand of a senior patient

    NICE recommends daily medication reviews in draft guideline on end-of-life care Subscription

    31 JUL 2015 16:42

    Medication should be optimised and reviewed daily when patients enter their final days, says a draft guideline from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on end-of-life care.

  • RPS comments on weight loss drug investigation Subscription

    31 JUL 2015 15:49

    23 July 2015: Results of laboratory tests commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) into drugs sold for weight loss on the internet have been revealed by ITV News to be highly dangerous to health. The ITV News investigation was sparked by deaths from the industrial chemical DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol), which is touted online as a slimming drug and was the subject of a recent Interpol alert in 190 countries.

  • A judicial review against the Health Research Authority, challenging the steps it took to monitor the registration of clinical trials, has been upheld by High Court judge, Justice Robert Jay (pictured)

    High Court rules against Health Research Authority in clinical trial transparency case Subscription

    30 JUL 2015 15:45

    A judicial review against the Health Research Authority, challenging the steps it took to monitor the registration of clinical trials, has been upheld by a High Court judge.

  • Ventmax SR capsules discontinued Subscription

    30 JUL 2015 11:58

    Chiesi has discontinued Ventmax (salbutamol sulphate) SR capsules 4mg and 8mg with immediate effect. Medical information is available on 0161 488 5555.

  • Disipal tablets discontinued Subscription

    29 JUL 2015 11:51

    Astellas is discontinuing Disipal tablets (orphenadrine hydrochloride) 50mg from 1 December 2015 because of manufacturing issues. Disipal can be ordered until 30 November 2015.

  • Arrhythmia with Moviprep Subscription

    29 JUL 2015 10:18

    Arrhythmia has been added as an adverse event with unknown frequency to the summary of product characteristics (SPC) for Moviprep (macrogol, sodium sulfate anhydrous, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate; Norgine). Additionally, the SPC now states that two litres of Moviprep can be taken in the morning of a clinical procedure.

  • Kuvan now indicated for children under four years Subscription

    29 JUL 2015 9:25

    Kuvan (sapropterin dihydrochloride; Merck Serono) is now indicated for use in children with phenylketonuria under four years old who have shown to be responsive. The recommended method of administration in children up to 20kg has also been revised.

  • Extended indication for Relistor Subscription

    29 JUL 2015 9:01

    Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide; TMC Pharma Services) is now indicated for opioid-induced constipation when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient in adults aged 18 years and older. Further changes to the summary of product characteristics reflect this license extension.

  • QT interval prolongation with Zytiga Subscription

    29 JUL 2015 8:54

    Prolongation of the QT interval has been added as an adverse event with unknown frequency to the summary of product characteristics (SPC) for Zytiga (abiraterone; Janssen-Cilag). The updated SPC now advises caution when administering Zytiga with medicinal products known to prolong the QT interval or those able to induce torsade de pointes.

  • The US Food and Drug Administration has approved sonidegib (Novartis’s Odomzo) as a treatment for patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (micrograph pictured) that has recurred following surgery or radiation therapy

    Skin cancer drug sonidegib approved in United States Subscription

    28 JUL 2015 16:28

    The US Food and Drug Administration has approved sonidegib as a treatment for patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma.

  • AWMSG medicines approvals Subscription

    27 JUL 2015 9:53

    The following medicines have been approved for use in NHS Wales by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG): Darunavir, in combination with other antiretrovirals, for treating human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection in children aged at least three years and weighing 15kg and over; peginterferon beta-1a for treating adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; regorafenib for treating adults with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours who progressed ...

  • Ash Soni has been re-elected as president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) at a meeting of the RPS assembly on 21 July 2015

    Soni re-elected Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Subscription

    22 JUL 2015 15:28

    Ash Soni has been re-elected as president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) at a meeting of the RPS assembly on 21 July 2015.

  • Researchers have elucidated the reasons why an HIV-1 vaccine, RV144, led to a mixed response in terms of HIV-1 infection risk. In the image, micrograph of HIV-1 budding (green) from cultured lymphocyte

    Genetics may play a role in efficacy of HIV vaccine Subscription

    21 JUL 2015 10:22

    Variation in individuals immune response genes could explain why the vaccine worked in some but not others.

  • The role of advanced practice pharmacists in primary care is being developed in Wales as part of the government’s workforce plans for the next three years. The project was launched by Mark Drakeford (pictured), Welsh health minister

    Welsh government pledges support for advanced practice pharmacists Subscription

    20 JUL 2015 16:53

    The role of advanced practice pharmacists in primary care is being developed in Wales as part of the government’s workforce plans for the next three years.

  • The pharmaceutical care of people with learning disabilities (pictured) is failing to deliver basic standards and needs urgent reform, including a greater role for pharmacists, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) says.

    'Urgent reform' to pharmaceutical care for people with learning disabilities needed, says RPS Subscription

    20 JUL 2015 15:01 By Stephen Robinson

    Current system of care failing to deliver basic standards for patients, Society warns.

  • Worldwide an estimated 246 million people - or slightly more than 5% of those aged 15 to 64 years - used an illicit drug in 2013, up by three million over the previous year, according to the World Drug Report, 2015

    Illicit drug users are on the rise, finds UN report Subscription

    10 JUL 2015 15:17

    Worldwide an estimated 246 million people used an illicit drug in 2013, a rise of three million over the previous year, says a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

  • Drug alert for Xenidate XL Subscription

    10 JUL 2015 12:43

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 4 drug alert for a small number of packs from a specific batch of Xenidate XL (methylphenidate hydrochloride; Mylan UK) prolonged-release tablets 36mg. Further information ...

  • More information required for ciclosporin Subscription

    10 JUL 2015 12:20

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidance asking Santen Pharmaceutical for more information about ciclosporin (Ikervis) for treating severe keratitis in adults with dry eye disease that has not improved despite treatment with artificial tears. NICE has requested additional information about the cost and clinical effectiveness of the drug.

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