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Issue : PJ September 2015 online

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  • The sustainability of the Cancer Drugs Fund Video

    7 OCT 2015 0:51

    Elizabeth Sukkar, the journal’s deputy news editor, asks key opinion leaders from NICE, the ABPI, the NHS and Myeloma UK on the sustainability of the Cancer Drugs Fund considering it is massively over budget.

  • Pregnant women who have cancer do not need to have a termination because their treatment may not harm their developing baby, according to researchers. In the image, a pregnant woman looks at an ultrasound of her baby

    Pregnant women can receive chemotherapy without harm to foetus, study suggests Subscription

    6 OCT 2015 16:50 By Debbie Andalo

    Pregnant women who have cancer do not necessarily need to have a termination for fear of the harm their treatment will cause a developing baby, study finds. 

  • Infants who use inhaled corticosteroids during the first two years of life are relatively short for their age. In the image, mother helps her child use an inhaler

    Inhaled corticosteroid use in infancy could stunt growth Subscription

    5 OCT 2015 16:51 By Bea Perks

    A study of more than 12,000 infants found that those who have used inhaled corticosteroids to treat asthma up to the age of two years are more likely to be short for their age.

  • Elderly patients with depression (pictured) who are not helped by a first-line antidepressant could benefit from the addition of an antipsychotic drug

    Antipsychotic drug aripiprazole could aid antidepressant therapies in older adults Subscription

    5 OCT 2015 13:37 By Bea Perks

    Elderly patients with depression who are not helped by a first-line antidepressant could benefit from the addition of an antipsychotic drug, finds a study published in The Lancet.

  • A study, using data on 4.1 million GP-registered patients in the UK, has shown that blood pressure is associated with the risk of diabetes. In the image, a man checks his blood pressure

    High blood pressure linked with onset of diabetes Subscription

    2 OCT 2015 15:07

    Data from 4.1 million patients in the UK found that high blood pressure was indepdendently associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes.

  • It is commonplace now for a clinical trial to cost $100m which can contribute to the high drugs costs, says Michael Rawlins, the chair of the UK’s MHRA during the International Pharmaceutical Federation World Congress 2015

    Evidence base for medicines over-reliant on expensive randomised controlled trials, says MHRA chair Subscription

    2 OCT 2015 14:11 By Stephen Robinson

    Randomised controlled trials have weaknesses and alternative trial designs should be considered more prominently in forming the evidence base for interventions, says Sir Michael Rawlins, chair of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

  • Two new drugs marketed by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk (flag with logo pictured) to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been given marketing authority in the US

    US FDA approves two injectable diabetes treatments Subscription

    2 OCT 2015 10:31

    Two drugs that improve blood sugar control in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been given marketing authority in the United States.

  • Idarucizumab, a unique drug which can neutralise the effect of the anticoagulant dabigatran etexilate, is being recommended for marketing authorisation across the EU. In the image, micrograph of a blood clot in the heart

    Anticoagulant antidote idarucizumab gets European regulator’s initial approval Subscription

    2 OCT 2015 9:30 By Debbie Andalo

    Idarucizumab (Praxbind), a unique drug that can neutralise the effect of anticoagulant dabigatran etexilate (Pradaxa), has been recommended for marketing authorisation by the European medicines safety watchdog.

  • Safety concerns over the potential neurotoxicity of sedatives and analgesics in neonates, often used in neonatal intensive care units, have raised questions at an international level. In the image, newborn in incubator in intensive care

    Use of sedatives and analgesics in infants vary widely across Europe Subscription

    2 OCT 2015 9:25

    A study of neonatal intensive care units in Europe revealed a lack of consistency in the use of sedatives and analgesics, which are potentialy neurotoxic in newborns.

  • The European Medicines Agency has recommended granting a marketing authorisation for proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib for patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (micrograph pictured)

    European regulator recommends drug targeting relapsed multiple myeloma Subscription

    30 SEP 2015 14:38 By Debbie Andalo

    A drug that targets a rare form of blood cancer in patients whose disease has relapsed has been recommended for a marketing authorisation by the European Medicines Agency.

  • Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a fall in blood pressure occurring within three minutes after standing and commonly causes dizziness

    Delayed dizziness after standing is early sign of orthostatic hypotension Subscription

    29 SEP 2015 12:46

    Patients who have a delayed drop in blood pressure are likely to see the condition progress, which is associated with the development of neurodegenerative conditions and a 50% mortality rate.

  • Evidence is emerging that a target systolic blood pressure (BP) of 120mmHg (pictured) significantly reduces both rates of cardiovascular disease and risk of death in hypertensive patients aged 50 years and over

    Lowering target systolic blood pressure to 120mmHg could reduce rates of cardiovascular disease Subscription

    29 SEP 2015 12:05 By George Winter

    A target systolic blood pressure of 120mmHg — rather than 140mmHg — reduces rates of cardiovascular disease and risk of death in hypertensive patients aged 50 years and over, a study shows.

  • NICE sees a role for the Cancer Drugs Fund, but it needs to be on a different footing, according to NICE’s programme director of technology appraisals. In the image, panelists of the Annual Medicines Panel discussion

    NICE sees role for Cancer Drugs Fund but on a different basis, RPS conference hears Subscription

    28 SEP 2015 16:49 By Elizabeth Sukkar

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sees a role for the Cancer Drugs Fund, but it needs to be on a different footing, according to NICE’s programme director of technology appraisals.

  • Pictogram software available from FIP Subscription

    28 SEP 2015 12:12

    The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has published an Arabic version of its pictogram software to help pharmacists explain to refugees how to take their medicines. The pictogram software is available from the FIP website.

  • NICE recommends Lixiana Subscription

    28 SEP 2015 12:10

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended edoxaban (Lixiana; Daiichi Sankyo) as an option for preventing stroke and systemic embolism in adults with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who have one or more further risk factors in final guidance. The guidance is available from the NICE website.

  • Generic hydralazine now available Subscription

    28 SEP 2015 12:08

    Generic hydralazine tablets 25mg and hydralazine powder for concentrate for solution for injection or infusion 20mg/ml will replace the brand Apresoline from Amdipharm Mercury with immediate effect.

  • Monday 12 October: British Society for the History of Pharmacy lecture Subscription

    28 SEP 2015 9:31

    British Society for the History of Pharmacy lecture, ‘Joseph Banks: Lincolnshire botanist’. Andrew Sankey, garden designer and lecturer, will be talking about the life and times of Joseph Banks. Banks was an extraordinary man who sailed around the world with Cook, established Kew Botanic Gardens, trained plant hunters sent around the globe and made botany a subject worth studying. Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 66 East Smithfield, London E1W 1AW. Event 5.30pm, refreshments from 5pm. No ...

  • Ravi Sharma (pictured) told the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) annual conference that he believed the £15m NHS England pilot was not a “temporary fix” for general practice but an expanded role for pharmacists for decades to come

    Pilot evidence crucial to integration of practice pharmacist role Subscription

    28 SEP 2015 9:12 By Stephen Robinson

    The evidence derived from a scheme to place pharmacists in general practice to ease pressures on GPs in England will be crucial to further integrating pharmacists into primary care, according to a leading practice pharmacist.

  • The first national gluten-free food service delivered by community pharmacists is being set up in Scotland as part of the national contract from 1 October 2015. In the image, close-up of packaged gluten-free pasta

    Scotland rolls out gluten-free food service through pharmacies Subscription

    25 SEP 2015 14:21
    Comments (1)

    The first national gluten-free food service delivered by community pharmacists is being set up in Scotland as part of the national contract from 1 October 2015.

  • Elizabeth Hackett (pictured), principal pharmacist for diabetes at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, is the only pharmacist to have been selected as one of 29 Diabetes UK clinical champions

    Diabetes UK clinical champions help patients receive better care Subscription

    24 SEP 2015 9:41 By Elizabeth Hackett

    As a Diabetes UK clinical champion, Elizabeth Hackett aims to help pharmacists play a bigger role in the healthcare of patients with diabetes.

  • England’s CPO Keith Ridge (pictured) said the expansion of patient care and a focus on medicines optimisation are a “dead cert” for the future of pharmacy

    Chief pharmacists: pharmacy’s future is ‘clinical and digital’ Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 17:13 By Stephen Robinson

    The pharmacy workforce must embrace clinical practice in the next few years amid advancements in medical and dispensing technologies, according to the UK’s chief pharmaceutical officers.

  • Local practice forum events: 23 September – 4 November 2015 Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 15:01

    Wednesday 23 September: Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley

  • Side effects and interactions for Fareston Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:45

    The summary of product characteristics (SPC) for Fareston (toremifene; Orion) now states that cases of liver injury, including elevation of liver enzymes, hepatitis and jaundice, have been reported with toremifene. Additionally, the amount of lactose per tablet has been amended from 30mg to 28.5mg. The updated SPC also states that, theoretically, the metabolism of toremifene is inhibited by drugs known to inhibit the CYP3A enzyme system. Examples of such drugs are antifungal imidazoles, ...

  • Reduced shelf life for Cayston Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:44

    The shelf life for Cayston (aztreonam) solvent ampoule has been reduced from four to three years. 

  • Extra needle in Zypadhera Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:32

    According to the updated summary of characteristics for Zypadhera (olanzapine pamoate monohydrate; Eli Lilly), the product now comes with two 19-gauge, 50mm hypodermic safety needles.

  • Lacri-Lube ointment recall Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:30

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 2 medicines recall for specific batches of Lacri-Lube eye ointment (Allergan). This is because black particles may be present on or around the nozzle of the tube. More information about the recall is available from the MHRA ...

  • Movicol Plain shelf life extended Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:30

    The shelf-life for Movicol Plain (macrogol, sodium chloride, sodium hydrogen carbonate, potassium chloride; Norgine), once reconstituted, has been extended from 6 hours to 24 hours, according to the updated summary of product characteristics.

  • NHS Atlas of Variation 2015 published Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:28

    The latest NHS Atlas of Variation, launched by Public Health England, NHS Right Care and NHS England, is now available to download from the NHS Right Care website. The atlas is made up of a series of maps that indicate the difference in the provision of care across England. 

  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension with Pegasys Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:27

    Pulmonary arterial hypertension has been added as a adverse event with unknown frequency in the summary of product characteristics for Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a; Roche). It states that cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension have been reported in patients with risk factors such as portal hypertension, HIV infection and cirrhosis.

  • Abraxane rejected by NICE Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:12

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final draft guidance that does not recommend Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel; Celgene) for the treatment of metastatic, previously untreated pancreatic adenocarcinoma. This decision has been made on the grounds that there is minimal benefit to the patient compared with existing treatments so the cost is not justified. Consultees have two weeks to notify NICE of any factual ...

  • Side effects for Tracleer Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 14:00

    Aminotransferase elevations associated with hepatitis (including possible exacerbation of underlying hepatitis) or jaundice or both has been added as an uncommon adverse reaction in the summary of product characteristics for Tracleer (bosentan monohydrate; Actelion).

  • Guide to new registration assessment Subscription

    22 SEP 2015 13:59

    The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has published a guide to the new registration assessment, which candidates will sit for the first time in 2016. The guide contains information about the format of the assessment and details about the registration assessment framework. It is available ...

  • Antimicrobial pharmacist Philip Howard (pictured) tells how point-of-care tests could reduce inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics during the 2015 Royal Pharmaceutical Society Conference

    Point-of-care testing for infections vital in fight against antimicrobial resistance Subscription

    21 SEP 2015 12:26 By Janna Lawrence

    Point of care tests are one of the most crucial developments in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, according to a leading antimicrobial pharmacist.

  • Canesten range updated Subscription

    21 SEP 2015 11:58

    Bayer is updating its range of Canesten products. There will be changes to the naming and packaging, with the updated products being introduced from July 2015 until early 2016. The active ingredients and product composition will remain the same.

  • The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative has announced that it aims to spend €650m to deliver treatments for up to 10 diseases. In the image, tsetse mosquitos pictured on a researcher's hand are responsible for the African sleeping sickness

    R&D plan announced for drugs for neglected diseases Subscription

    18 SEP 2015 13:45

    The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, a non-profit research and development organisation, has announced that it aims to spend €650m over the next eight years to deliver 16–18 new treatments.

  • Thursday 15 October: RPS Faculty webinar Subscription

    11 SEP 2015 11:13

    Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Faculty webinar, ‘Faculty Question Time’. Find the answers to any questions you have about the Faculty such as: what is the best type of evidence? How much detail do I need to enter into my portfolio? Who should I ask to provide a peer testimonial? Do I need to cover all the competencies? Online 7–8pm. To find out more information and to register and access the webinar, visit the RPS website.

  • Thursday 1 October: RPS Faculty webinar Subscription

    11 SEP 2015 11:12

    Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Faculty webinar, ‘Faculty Question Time’. Find the answers to any questions you have about the Faculty such as: what is the best type of evidence? How much detail do I need to enter into my portfolio? Who should I ask to provide a peer testimonial? Do I need to cover all the competencies? Online 1–2pm. To find out more information and to register and access the webinar, visit the ...

  • Generic erythromycin lactobionate available Subscription

    11 SEP 2015 11:05

    Generic erythromycin lactobionate 1g will replace the brand Erythrocin from Amdipharm Mercury from 21 September 2015.  

  • Generic hydrocortisone sodium phosphate solution available Subscription

    11 SEP 2015 11:04

    Generic hydrocortisone sodium phosphate solution for injection 100mg/ml and 500mg/5ml replaces the brand Efcortesol injection from Amdipharm Mercury.

  • Bladder cancer learning tool from NICE Subscription

    11 SEP 2015 11:03

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched a new online learning tool about bladder cancer. The tool, which was developed by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, supports the implementation of the NICE clinical guideline on bladder cancer. It is available for free from the NICE website.  

  • Developments to The Pharmaceutical Journal and Clinical Pharmacist Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 16:59 By Ash Soni, Helen Gordon
    Comments (1)

    In February 2015 we sent you a survey to ask your views on The Pharmaceutical Journal and Clinical Pharmacist and how you would like to see them developed. The majority of members who responded told us that they would like a more substantial edition of The Pharmaceutical Journal, once a month, and would also like to receive a print copy of Clinical Pharmacist once a month. We have listened to feedback from members and in response ...

  • Pfizer’s plan to reimburse GPs for extra work they undertake to protect the second medical use patent of the company’s drug Lyrica (pregablin) is under consideration by the UK pharmaceutical industry’s self-regulator. In the image, company logo of Pfizer

    Pfizer’s Lyrica GP reimbursement plan under scrutiny by industry self-regulator Subscription

    10 SEP 2015 10:37 By Debbie Andalo

    Pfizer’s plan to reimburse GPs for extra work they undertake to protect the second medical use patent of the company’s drug Lyrica (pregablin) is under consideration by the UK pharmaceutical industry’s self-regulator. 

  • Accreditation for RB UK learning modules Subscription

    9 SEP 2015 15:21

    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has accredited 16 learning modules from RB UK. The modules are available for free at www.rbforhealth.co.uk. 

  • Local practice forum events: 10–22 September 2015 Subscription

    7 SEP 2015 16:57

    Thursday 10 September: London North

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