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
Non-adherence: medicine’s weakest linkSubscription
Non-adherence to prescribed medicines is one of the biggest obstacles to effective healthcare, impacting on patients, healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare systems. Pharmacists are ideally placed to improve adherence, but are effective interventions available and how can pharmacists match patients to an appropriate intervention?
Two years after the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, researchers have made good progress in developing vaccines against the disease, with some candidates now in phase II trials. However, the brief nature of the outbreak is making wide-scale testing of the new vaccines difficult and some research programmes have already been curtailed.
Revalidation: support and implementation Subscription
This is the second in a series of in-depth articles The Pharmaceutical Journal is running on revalidation. In December 2017, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) formally approved the framework for revalidation and agreed a timetable for its implementation. Pharmacy professionals will be required to submit various pieces of work, and make declarations to illustrate that they are keeping their skills up to date. In this article, we talk to the GPhC to find out how revalidation ...
Pharmacy organisations in Britain have been campaigning for all pharmacists to have read-write access to the full patient record for over a decade. Although some progress has been made, particularly during 2017, the prospect of a shared patient record in Britain is still several years away. However, pharmacists within other European countries, and further afield, have been benefiting from access to patient records for years.
As pharmacists take on more clinical roles within primary care, innovative models of practice are emerging around the world. The University of British Columbia, Canada, has opened a pharmacist-led primary care clinic, which showcases what pharmacists can do, is an educational tool for students and a ‘living laboratory’ through which pharmacy practice research is conducted. In this feature, we describe how the clinic operates and look at whether such a scheme would translate to the UK.
2017: Pharmacy's roller-coaster yearSubscription
It has been an unsettling 12 months for pharmacy and as 2017 draws to a close there are still a number of unresolved issues hanging over the New Year.
The pharmaceutical industry is beginning to invest in artificial intelligence (AI), with many large pharmaceutical companies partnering with AI start-ups in 2017 in order to develop better diagnostics or biomarkers, to identify drug targets and to design new drugs. But when will the first AI-designed drugs reach the market and will AI permanently change the pharmaceutical industry and the way drugs are discovered?
Responsibility for the health service in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been devolved for almost two decades. With community pharmacy practice diverging across the UK, there is an opportunity for each of the four countries to compare, contrast and learn from each other. However, differences across the countries also represent the individual priorities and people in the four nations, and highlight the localised progress that has been made possible by devolution.