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Issue : PJ November 2015 online

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  • Patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) developing stress-induced cardiomyopathy (SIC), coloured x-ray pictured. Research found that these patients had higher peak levels of the cardiac damage peptides hsTnT and NTproBNP

    Two peptides predict cardiomyopathy after brain haemorrhage Subscription

    3 DEC 2015 11:06

    Swedish PhD student finds biomarkers that can identify subarachnoid haemorrhage patients at risk of cardiomyopathy.

  • Research shows a blood test could predict which antidepressant will work for each patient. In the image, blood from tests ready to be analysed

    Blood test could show whether an antidepressant is effective, research suggests Subscription

    2 DEC 2015 9:52 By Bea Perks

    Psychiatrists could be on the way to developing a test that predicts which patients with depression will benefit from which antidepressant.

  • Necitumumab (Eli Lilly’s Portrazza) has been approved by the US drugs safety watchdog for patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), image attached, who have not received other treatment for their advanced disease

    FDA approves necitumumab for non-small cell lung cancer Subscription

    1 DEC 2015 15:19

    Necitumumab (Portrazza) has been approved by the US drugs safety watchdog as a new combination therapy for patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer who have not received other treatment for their advanced disease.

  • Researchers have found that the glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue liraglutide – a treatment for type 2 diabetes – is also effective in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), micrograph pictured

    Diabetes treatment effective in liver disease Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 16:41

    Almost two fifths of patients given liraglutide had resolution of the common liver disease called NASH.

  • Pharmacist Rob Morris (pictured) has spent his career developing and selling medicines for farm animals and pets. He encourages other pharmacists to consider the sector, even though jobs may be scarce.

    Why I chose veterinary pharmacy instead of community or hospital Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 16:16 By Rob Morris

    Practising veterinary pharmacy offers flexibility and creativity that the traditional sectors do not, writes Rob Morris.

  • NICE does not recommend apremilast Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 15:44

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) does not recommend apremilast (Otezla; Celgene) for treating some adults with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.  

  • NICE recommends pembrolizumab Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 15:42

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck, Sharp & Dohme) as a treatment option in adults with advanced melanoma that has not been previously treated with ipilimumab when the company provides pembrolizumab with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.

  • New NICE recommendations for hepatitis C Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 13:52

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published final guidance recommending ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni; Gilead Sciences), ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir with or without dasabuvir (Viekirax ...

  • NICE recommends vortioxetine Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 13:47

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published final guidance that recommends vortioxetine (Brintellix; Lundbeck, Takeda) as third-line treatment for major depressive episodes. Vortioxetine should be considered as a treatment option for adults whose condition has responded inadequately to two antidepressants within the current episode.

  • Caution with concomitant Zelboraf and radiation treatment Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 13:42

    The summary of product characteristics for Zelboraf (vemurafenib; Roche) now states that cases of radiation recall and radiation sensitisation have been reported in patients treated with radiation either prior, during, or subsequent to vemurafenib treatment. Therefore, vemurafenib should be used with caution when given concomitantly or sequentially with radiation treatment.

  • Fostair NEXhaler indicated for COPD Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 13:33

    Fostair NEXhaler (beclometasone diproprionate, formoterol fumarate dihydrate; Chiesi) is now indicated for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Further changes to the summary of product characteristics reflect this addition.

  • Draft guidance for recurrent ovarian cancer Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 13:24

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidance that covers five drugs — paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride (PLDH), topotecan, trabectedin and gemcitabine — for treating recurrent ovarian cancer. The guidance recommends paclitaxel and PLDH for treating recurrent ovarian cancer but proposes not recommending gemcitabine, topotecan and trabectedin for treating the first recurrence of platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer (where ...

  • Edurant indication extension for adolescents Subscription

    30 NOV 2015 13:14

    The summary of product characteristics for Edurant (rilpivirine; Janssen-Cilag) now states that the drug can be taken by adolescents of 12 years and above, as well as adults. 

  • Hospital stock control of antidotes to treat poisoned patients have improved but there is still “significant” differences between NHS trusts, according to research published. In the image, stock of medicines in a hospital pharmacy

    Hospitals have variable stock levels of antidotes Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 16:58
    Comments (1)

    Hospital stock control of antidotes to treat poisoned patients have improved but there is still “significant” differences between NHS trusts.

  • Intestinal obstruction with Xifaxanta Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 15:08

    Intestinal obstruction is now listed as an adverse reaction in the summary of product characteristics for Xifaxanta (rifaximin; Norgine). Additionally, the drug may reduce the effectiveness of oral estrogenic contraceptives if taken concomitantly. Caution should also be exercised when rifaximin is given concomitantly with a P-glycoprotein inhibitor, such as ciclosporin.

  • Contraindications with Aldomet Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:53

    Aldomet (methyldopa; Aspen) is now contraindicated with a catecholamine-secreting tumour, such as pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma, and with porphyria. Additionally, the summary of product characteristics now states that the use of the drug in women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, or in breast-feeding mothers, requires that the anticipated benefits are weighed against potential risks.

  • Cormac Tobin (pictured), managing director of Celesio UK, which owns John Bell & Croyden, describes the history of the pharmacy and explains what changes have been made

    How we refurbished a famous London pharmacy Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:43 By Cormac Tobin

    John Bell & Croyden pharmacy, which first opened over 200 years ago and holds the Royal warrant, has just had a £4m makeover.

  • Side effects with Eviplera Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:30

    The summary of product characteristics for Eviplera (emtricitabine, rilpivirine, tenofovir disoproxil; Gilead) now states that Eviplera must be discontinued as soon as serious skin and/or mucosal reactions are observed, and appropriate therapy should be initiated. 

  • Researchers report that disulfiram, molecular structure pictured), a drug used to treat alcoholism, can reactivate latent HIV. The findings represent a step towards eliminating latent HIV

    Alcoholism drug could help eliminate dormant HIV Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:28

    Disulfiram treatment can reactivate latent HIV, which could help eliminate the cells harbouring the virus, report finds.

  • Contraindication for Diflucan Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:22

    Concomitant administration of amiodarone is now contraindicated with Diflucan (fluconazole; Pfizer), according to the updated summary of product characteristics.

  • Losec injection and infusion discontinued Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:17

    AstraZeneca has discontinued Losec (omeprazole sodium) injection 40mg, with effect from 1 December 2015. Losec infusion 40mg has also been discontinued, with effect from 31 December 2015. For medical information, call 01582 836936 or email medical.informationUK@astrazeneca.com. 

  • Resource for pharmacists affected by migrant crisis Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:12

    The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has published new guidance to help pharmacists affected by the current migrant crisis in Europe. The guidance links pharmacists who may be struggling to communicate with these individuals to useful resources. It is available from the FIP website.

  • Antimicrobial resistance guidance from FIP Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 14:07

    The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has published a resource to support pharmacists in implementing policies to combat antimicrobial resistance. The document is available from the FIP website.

  • The number of people receiving HIV treatment reached 15.8 million in June 2015, up 2.2 million on the previous year, says a new report by UNAIDS. In the image, Michel Sibidé, executive director of UNAIDS

    People taking HIV drugs rises to almost 16 million, UNAIDs reports Subscription

    27 NOV 2015 12:47 By John Zarocostas

    The number of people receiving HIV treatment reached 15.8 million in June 2015, an increase of 2.2 million on the previous year, says a new report by UNAIDS.

  • Evolucumab draft recommendations Subscription

    26 NOV 2015 9:24

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft guidance not recommending evolocumab (Repatha, Amgen) as an option for people with high cholesterol (primary hypercholesterolaemia — heterozygous-familial and non-familial) and mixed dyslipidaemia. The draft guidance can be accessed

  • The system should help doctors more effectively find a minimum therapeutic dose when withdrawing or reducing SSRI therapy, the researchers say, while avoiding prolonged treatment and overmedication. In the image, Prozac capsules

    New classification system to diagnose SSRI withdrawal proposed Subscription

    25 NOV 2015 14:31

    Researchers propose new model to help doctors withdrawing SSRI therapy.

  • Researchers say findings add further evidence supporting the cardiovascular safety of testosterone supplementation in this group of patients. In the image, light micrograph of testosterone hormone

    Study supports cardiovascular safety of testosterone Subscription

    25 NOV 2015 11:09

    Despite FDA warnings, no link found between testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risks.

  • Keiji Fukuda, pictured, special representative of the World Health Organization director general for antimicrobial resistance, discusses the big threat to global health posed by the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance

    Q&A: WHO's Keiji Fukuda discusses global plans for antibiotic resistance Subscription

    25 NOV 2015 9:34 By John Zarocostas

    Keiji Fukuda, special representative of the World Health Organization director general for antimicrobial resistance, discusses the big threat to global health posed by the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance.

  • A major US study has found intensive treatment to a target of 120mmHg significantly improves cardiovascular outcomes compared with a target of 140mmHg, as recommended by NICE. In the image, close up of a doctor taking a patient's blood pressure

    Lowering blood pressure targets cuts cardiovascular disease deaths Subscription

    25 NOV 2015 9:24

    Study shows treatment using lower blood pressure targets reduces chance of cardiovascular death by 43%.

  • Antiepileptic medication use appears to be associated with poorer balance control, but it’s not clear if these effects are related to epilepsy itself or its treatment. In the image, close-up of the feet of a young person walking down a street

    Long-term antiepileptic drug use may impair balance Subscription

    24 NOV 2015 17:09

    Study finds long-term users of antiepileptic medication had poorer static balance.

  • Non-medical prescribers website Subscription

    23 NOV 2015 9:10

    A new website called Prescribers SPaCE – Sharing Practice and Continuing Education – has been launched for non medical prescribers (NMPs) by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and others. The website is intended to provide a forum for NMPs to to share ideas, evidence-based resources and good practice tools. 

  • Findings show that andexanet could provide a rapid antidote to factor Xa inhibitors (molecular structure pictured) for patients who experience bleeding or need emergency surgery

    Antidote to new oral anticoagulants proves effective Subscription

    20 NOV 2015 16:38

    Anticoagulant effects of factor Xa inhibitors can be reversed by inactive recombinant factor Xa protein, andexanet, study shows.

  • The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Pharmaceutical Science Expert Advisory Panel (PSEAP) is looking to co-opt RPS members from community or hospital pharmacy to work alongside one of its working groups. In the image, members of the PSEAP

    Pharmaceutical science advisory panel looking to co-opt RPS members Subscription

    20 NOV 2015 16:33 By Julia Robinson

    The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Pharmaceutical Science Expert Advisory Panel is looking to co-opt RPS members from community or hospital pharmacy to work alongside one of its working groups.

  • Covert administration in care homes flowchart Subscription

    20 NOV 2015 16:29
    Comments (1)

    Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in Wales and the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have developed a flowchart to inform decision making in care homes related to covert administration. The flowchart supports care home staff to differentiate between difficult to swallow and covert administration, and provides guidance for subsequent steps such as informing the multidisciplinary team and assessing residents for capacity.

  • AWMSG November medicines approvals Subscription

    20 NOV 2015 16:22

    The following medicines have been approved for use in NHS Wales by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG): Xultophy (insulin degludec and liraglutide) for use with oral antidiabetic drugs to treat adults with type 2 diabetes — it can only be used when oral treatments combined with basal insulin do not provide adequate glycaemic control; Fomicyt (fosfomycin) to treat acute osteomyelitis, complicated urinary tract infections, nosocomial lower respiratory tract infections or bacterial ...

  • Antimicrobial resistance strategy for veterinary medicines Subscription

    20 NOV 2015 16:05

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has released for public consultation a new strategy on antimicrobial resistance addressing medicinal products for veterinary use. The consultation documents can be accessed on the

  • Clinical trial disclosures for drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fail to meet both the legal and ethical standards expected. In the image, three girls undergoing clinical trials

    Clinical trial disclosures for new drugs are below legal and ethical standards, find researchers Subscription

    20 NOV 2015 13:51

    Clinical trial disclosures for drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration fail to meet both the legal and ethical standards expected, according to research published in BMJ Open on 16 November 2015. 

  • Working in pricing at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee gives Harpreet Chana, pictured, the opportunity to educate pharmacists

    How I help community pharmacy teams understand drug pricing and reimbursement Subscription

    20 NOV 2015 11:10 By Harpreet Chana

    Working in pricing at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee gives Harpreet Chana the opportunity to educate and support pharmacists.

  • cp call for paper

    Call for papers: make your contribution to the new Clinical Pharmacist

    19 NOV 2015 16:56

    We are accepting the following types of article for peer review

  • Local practice forum event: 10 December 2015 Subscription

    19 NOV 2015 16:31

    Thursday 10 December: West Yorkshire Local practice forum event, ‘Pharmacist support for pre-registration and newly qualified pharmacists’, held jointly with Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire. George Buckley Lecture Theatre (on campus), University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD1 3DH. Event 7.30pm, buffet 7pm. Please book via the RPS website.

  • Study shows insulin pump (pictured) use in England and Wales was 30% of that in other countries. Researchers say the lower level of pump use in England/Wales may be due to relatively restrictive national guidelines on their use in paediatrics

    England and Wales lag behind other countries for paediatric insulin pump use Subscription

    18 NOV 2015 16:31

    International study shows insulin pump use in England and Wales was 30% of that in other countries.

  • A team from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston observed medication errors and adverse drug events during 277 randomly selected operations over an eight-month period. In the image, main entrance of MGH

    Perioperative medication error rates higher than expected Subscription

    18 NOV 2015 15:59

    A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that almost half of 277 randomly selected operations involved a medication error or adverse drug event.

  • Researchers say that ‘liquid biopsy’ could potentially be used to select patients  with advance prostate cancer for alternative treatments, but this would need validation in a randomised trial. In the image, light micrograph of prostate cancer cells

    Liquid biopsy predicts treatment resistance in advanced prostate cancer Subscription

    18 NOV 2015 14:46

    Patients with prostate cancer could be selected for alternative treatments using liquid biopsy, researchers say.

  • Fewer antibiotic prescriptions are issued for acute respiratory infections when doctors make decisions jointly with patients, according to a review of clinical trials. In the image, a doctor speaks with a patient

    Fewer antibiotics prescribed when doctors share decision with patients Subscription

    17 NOV 2015 15:51 By Bea Perks

    Fewer antibiotic prescriptions are issued for acute respiratory infections when doctors share decision making with patients, according to a review published by the Cochrane Library on 12 November 2015.

  • GPs and community pharmacists have been told not allow their financial interests to influence the advice they give patients. It comes as community pharmacists are able to offer flu vaccination. In the image, a woman receives a flu vaccination

    Patients should be free to choose where to access services, regulators say Subscription

    17 NOV 2015 14:18 By Debbie Andalo

    GPs and community pharmacists should not allow financial interests to influence the advice they give patients about where to access services, their respective regulators have told them.

  • New requirements for controlled drugs Subscription

    17 NOV 2015 13:45

    The Home Office has highlighted two changes affecting controlled drugs. First, from 30 November 2015, amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 will make the use of an approved form for the requisitioning of Schedule 2 and 3 Controlled Drugs in the community mandatory. This applies to both requisitions for human and for veterinary use.

  • Additional filter size for Kadcyla Subscription

    17 NOV 2015 12:18

    The summary of product characteristics for Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine; Roche) has been revised to include recommendations on an additional filter size of 0.2 micron for in-line filtration during infusion using sodium chloride 0.9% as a solvent.

  • Contraindications with Ex-lax Senna Pills Subscription

    17 NOV 2015 12:07

    The summary of product characteristics (SPC) for Ex-lax Senna Pills (sennoside; Novartis) now states that the medicine is contradicted with irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, abdominal pain of unknown origin, severe dehydration states, especially hypokalaemia, and in children aged under 12 years. Patients taking cardiac glycosides, antiarrhythmic medicinal products, medicinal products inducing QT-prolongation, diuretics, adrenocorticosteroids or liquorice root, have to consult ...

  • November 2015: SMC decisions Subscription

    16 NOV 2015 16:57

    The Scottish Medicines Consortium has accepted the following medicines for use in NHS Scotland: atazanavir and cobicistat (Evotaz; Bristol-Myers Squibb); edoxaban (Lixiana; Daiichi Sankyo), for two separate indications; pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck Sharp and Dohme), as monotherapy for the treatment of advanced (unresectable or metastatic) melanoma in adults previously untreated with ipilimumab; tiotropium/olodaterol (Spiolto Respimat; Boehringer Ingelheim); and triamcinolone hexacetonide ...

  • Reduced efficacy of benzodiazepines with Xenical Subscription

    16 NOV 2015 16:28

    The summary of product characteristics for Xenical (orlistat; Roche) now states that there are some case reports of reduced efficacy of benzodiazepines coincidental to the initiation of orlistat treatment in previously well controlled patients. Therefore, orlistat treatment should only be initiated after careful consideration of the possible impact in these patients.

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