Pharmacists will be on the front line as the coronavirus crisis unfolds. Here's the latest advice and developments as they happen from The Pharmaceutical Journal team.
With doubts around the accuracy of antibody tests and slow progress on point-of-care testing, it is likely we will be waiting some time before we can confidently screen for COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a huge challenge, but it has revolutionised pharmacy practice in some positive ways. In the second feature of a three-part series, we ask GP pharmacists which changes they want to retain.
The latest information about the novel coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China, and advice on how pharmacists can help concerned patients and the public.
Testing for COVID-19 antibodies has been riddled with government miscommunication and a lack of clarity, but here is what we know so far.
Researchers around the world are working at record speed to find the best ways to treat and prevent COVID-19, from investigating the possibility of repurposing existing drugs to searching for novel therapies against the virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge challenge, but it has revolutionised pharmacy practice in some positive ways. In the first of a three-part series, we ask hospital pharmacists which changes they want to retain.
The NHS is rapidly enrolling patients into studies as part of a focused international effort to find medicines that will interfere with viral replication or help modulate the immune system response.
As a new strain of coronavirus threatens public health systems across the globe, researchers are racing to develop a vaccine.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of understanding the differences between viral and bacterial pneumonia, and how adult patients can be managed as they recover at home.
How pharmacists can implement guidance and best practice in response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic to ensure patient and staff safety, as well as the approaches pharmacy teams across the UK are taking in response to the virus.
'It is difficult witnessing patients fight for their lives' — a day in the life of a critical care pharmacist
Working in critical care can be both physically and emotionally challenging, but being proactive can help ensure patient safety and continuity of care.
Pharmacy professionals share their advice with the new cohort of preregistration pharmacists about to start their training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite having a background in hospital, integrated care pharmacist Shazia Karsan felt an element of anxiety when redeployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With COVID-19 becoming the number one priority for researchers around the globe, Parham Hashemi describes his role in overseeing the new trials being launched during the pandemic.
The high proportion of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups dying from COVID-19 has brought health inequalities between ethnic groups to the fore, but this should have been looked into long before the pandemic began.
The pharmacy sector must not underestimate the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will transform the NHS.
While news of imminent serology testing is incredibly encouraging, we must be pragmatic about how quickly it can be made available to the general public.
Dozens of drug candidates are being trialled for both prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19, but it is too early to recommend any of them for routine clinical use.
Ongoing research may yet prove that the 4-aminoquinolones are an effective prophylactic medication in those at risk of developing COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the government to allow medicines reuse: we must not waste this opportunity to counter our throwaway cultureSubscription
Fears over drug shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic mean that, in care homes and hospices, costly medicines prescribed but unused by one patient can now be given to another, rather than destroyed. This formerly illegal practice should stay long after we recover from the pandemic, and be extended to other healthcare settings, so we can reap the financial and environmental benefits.
There are two ways that we can begin to address the long-running health disparities between different ethnic groups, which have been highlighted by the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Footfall in emergency departments across the world has decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts worry that patients with symptoms are staying at home for fear of burdening their healthcare systems. But preventing serious cardiovascular events is still as important as ever, says cardiology consultant pharmacist Rani Khatib.
There is a vulnerable group we must not leave behind in our response to COVID-19: people who are dependent on illicit drugs
None of us are safe from COVID-19, but the health status, needs and behaviours of those who use illicit drugs leave them particularly vulnerable — pharmacists can reduce this risk, says drugs researcher Amira Guirguis.
The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching the NHS, including its supplies of essential drugs, to the limits. We may need new systems in place to ensure patients never miss out on medicines they need.
A review of several of the treatments for COVID-19 currently being trialled.
A principal investigator in one of the UK-based COVID-19 treatment trials speaks about his hopes for the study and the controversy surrounding hydroxychloroquine.
The pharmacy minister on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health support for pharmacists and what may be the enduring legacy for the sector.
The chief executive officer of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies speaks about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected pharmacy and the risk of impending closures.
Pharmacy researcher Zoe Edwards could safely do her university work from home, but she knew there was another way she could help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How fearful medication requests have wreaked havoc on my general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic
Medication-related coronavirus media reports and worried patients have put pressure on general practices and local pharmacies, but we must continue to do right by our patients with chronic conditions, or risk ‘playing catch-up’ later on, says clinical pharmacist Danny Bartlett.
They don’t teach you how to cope with wearing your PPE when you burst into tears on the COVID-19 ICU
The pandemic has brought with it a new and overwhelming way of working in intensive care, and it is taking a heavy emotional toll on hospital staff, says clinical pharmacist Sarah Seddon.
Specialist critical care pharmacist Greg Barton recounts how his unit adapted to new practices and unknowns as cases of coronavirus surged in north west England.
Mentoring can help pharmacists form strong bonds with colleagues early in their career, with mentors providing both professional and emotional support. But mentors can also benefit from being mentees, as senior members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society explain.
The government’s decision to make face coverings compulsory in hospitals should be extended to pharmacies, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said.
Community pharmacy employers have reported six cases of staff contracting COVID-19 at work to the Health and Safety Executive as of 25 July 2020, latest figures show.
Primary care network pharmacists to start delivering medication reviews earlier than planned in 'window of opportunity' before winter
A letter from NHS England asks NHS organisations to speed up the return to more normal levels of non-COVID-19 health services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to innovation in anticipatory prescribing practices within community palliative care, the results of a survey in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care have shown.
Caring for palliative care patients at home: medicines management principles and considerationsSubscription
Pharmacists need to understand the range of medicine support that they and their teams can provide to palliative care patients and their caregivers.
Community pharmacists encounter patients at all stages in their life; however, patients who require palliative care require dedicated time and special consideration.
Pharmacists should note the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s updated guidance on use of pharmacological thromboprophylaxis in a range of hospitalised patient groups.
Ensuring the safe and effective management of controlled drugs is an important role for pharmacists, particularly in secondary care.
Mixing medicines: how to ensure patient safetySubscription
Nausea and vomiting in palliative careSubscription
Lopinavir/ritonavir 'not effective' for patients hospitalised with COVID-19, third set of RECOVERY trial results show
An antiviral treatment commonly used to treat HIV has been found to have no beneficial effect in patients hospitalised with COVID-19, according to the third set of results to come out of the ‘Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy’ trial.
Prescribing errors affect patient safety, but pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can reduce the risk of them occurring.
Intravenous fluid managementSubscription
An introduction to fluid management for adults in hospitals, covering replacement during resuscitation, malnourished patients and following large electrolyte losses.
Boots is taking part in a pilot to evaluate the effectiveness of asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for people in “high-contact” professions.
Hand hygiene interventions, well known for their ability to reduce disease and death rates, are rarely implemented in nursing homes.
Hospital‑acquired pneumonia increases the length of in-patient hospital stay and is associated with high mortality rates, particularly in older people. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals need to know how to diagnose and manage the condition, and be cognisant of the gaps in the evidence base.
Healthcare professionals should be aware of the principles of antimicrobial treatment and the need to reduce inappropriate prescribing to retain the effectiveness of drugs currently available.
Understand the standard principles and practices of infection control, with a brief overview of initiatives aimed at reducing rates of infection acquired in a healthcare setting.
Sick from stress: 'presenteeism' in pharmacySubscription
With increasing pressures placed on pharmacy professionals, presenteeism — or working when not fit to do so — is becoming more common. This can have detrimental effects on individuals, their families and patients.
Supporting the supporterSubscription
With ever increasing stressors placed on the healthcare sector, it is important that pharmacy professionals are able to look after their own health and wellbeing. But who can pharmacy professionals turn to when they are the ones in need of support?