While the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 appears to have controlled circulation of novel psychoactive substances, formerly known as ‘legal highs’, on the high street, a Home Office review has proved what many experts predicted — that the legislation would drive sales onto the streets and the dark web.
A decline in the number of applications to pharmacy schools and more students being accepted through clearing has led to concerns over the future pharmacy workforce.
Study results suggest that PDE-5 inhibitors could have a role in treating cancer, heart failure, neurodegenerative diseases, circulatory disorders and even infectious diseases, but the road to approval for new indications may not be smooth.
Polypharmacy among older people is at an all-time high, prompting a necessary focus on withdrawing inappropriate medicines. However, evidence-based guidelines are needed to overcome barriers to deprescribing.
Lack of time and not being able to access the required information means that many community pharmacists in England are not using abbreviated patient records online.
As obesity levels rise, pharmacists are finding they need new tools to ensure they adequately tailor the amount of medicine patients receive.
When combined with intensive psychotherapy sessions, MDMA — commonly known as ecstasy — has elicited impressive results in phase II trials and a global phase III study is just beginning.
As healthcare professionals prepare for blockbuster biologic Humira to come off patent on 16 October 2018, we highlight what pharmacists need to know about switching from originator biologics to biosimilars in order to get the best value from these medicines.
Despite the success pharmacy had in 2017 with offering influenza vaccination to people across the UK, winter 2018 is shaping up to be a difficult season, with different vaccines for different groups, staggered deliveries until December and guidance that makes patient prioritisation a problem.
Smaller, smarter and more sensitive — how four new technologies could change the way drugs are monitored and administered.
Pharmaceutical companies are beginning to appreciate that involving patients in the drug development life cycle could save them millions of pounds. But are companies being brave enough when it comes to ‘patient centricity’?
Fears of a no-deal Brexit impacting the UK’s drugs supply have been growing for some time, since the then health and social care secretary, Jeremy Hunt, admitted in January 2018 that the supply of some cancer drugs could be disrupted if the UK leaves the EU at the end of March 2019 with no agreement on a future relationship in place.
With blockbuster biologic adalimumab coming off patent in October 2018, pharmacists should be ready to switch patients to the best-value biologic as alternatives become available.
A solution developed to deliver clinical pharmacy services to remote dispensing GP practices in Scotland is being used as a model to expand telehealth services across the rest of NHS Highland.
Medical cannabis: what will pharmacy's role be?Subscription
How the UK has realised the benefits of medical cannabis and the involvement pharmacists could have in its supply.
Putting insomnia to bedSubscription
An estimated 30–50% of the population will experience insomnia symptoms at some point in their lives and, in the UK, insomnia rates steadily rise with age. With a 2% increase in sales of over-the-counter sleep aids during 2017, pharmacists are seeing more patients with insomnia symptoms. Here we discuss the health implications of not getting enough sleep and what can be done to help people drift off.
Medicines reuse schemes successfully operate in the United States and Greece, reducing medicines waste and environmental pollution, as well as saving money and providing drugs to thousands of people who could not otherwise afford them. Is there a demand for such a scheme in the UK, and would it be feasible?
The antibiotic supply chain is “at risk of collapsing”, which could lead to major problems treating serious infections and add to resistance levels.
With multiples tackling the threat of online retailers head on, should smaller chains and independents try to compete with the big boys?
The Longitude Prize has relaunched after 300 years and this time teams around the world are racing to develop a rapid point-of-care diagnostic test that will help prevent the overuse of antibiotics and put them in the running to win £8m.
A post-registration foundation programme would offer support to newly qualified pharmacists and prepare them for their evolving roles, but it is unclear how a uniform system could be established across the UK.
This new way of modifying problematic gene expression has had a rocky start — but things are looking up.
Health anxiety: currently trendingSubscription
Do pharmacists have a role in reducing the side effects of ‘Dr Google’?
The prices of generic medicines are rising, caused by action by regulators and a decrease in the value of sterling following uncertainties about Brexit, leaving pharmacies out of pocket.
While opioids are powerful painkillers, they come with dangerous side effects and carry a sometimes fatal risk of addiction. However, new, safer opioids are being developed using a variety of innovative strategies to maximise analgesic properties, while reducing the burden of side effects.
For many autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, drugs that work by targeting components of the immune system are providing relief for millions of patients. However, there is no immunotherapy currently licensed for type 1 diabetes, and the reasons for this are multifold. A number of research groups and pharmaceutical companies are focusing on various aspects of the immune system to try to develop an effective immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes.
Nocebo: the placebo effect’s evil twin Subscription
The little-known nocebo effect, where negative expectations about treatment lead to side effects, can have a huge impact on clinical outcomes. It is important that healthcare professionals are aware of the nocebo effect and talk to patients about their medicines in a balanced way so as to try to minimise it.
Pharmacist independent prescribing was introduced in 2006 but, to date, only 11% of pharmacists have qualified — and those who have do not always have the opportunity to prescribe. Some barriers to prescribing are common across all sectors, but community pharmacists face particular challenges in terms of access to records and lack of time.
On Saturday 9 February 2019, the Falsified Medicines Directive will go live across Europe. On that date the entire pharmacy sector will be expected to adhere to the directive