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COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus assesment area

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.

Features

Sick man on subway wearing mask

Everything you should know about the coronavirus outbreak

The latest information about the novel coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China, and advice on how pharmacists can help concerned patients and the public.

Ten things pharmacists should know about COVID 19 vaccines

Ten things pharmacists should know about COVID-19 vaccines

Work towards a COVID-19 vaccine is progressing rapidly and new information is emerging every day. Here we aim to summarise the most important details of COVID-19 vaccine development from a pharmacy perspective.

Man on oxygen ss20

Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 therapy trials

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.

Vaccination

Everything you need to know about the UK's COVID-19 vaccination programme

Here is what we know so far about how the NHS plans to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 campus — creating a new learning experience

The COVID-19 campus: MPharm studying during the pandemic Subscription

We look at how students and staff at pharmacy schools have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remembering pharmacy staff who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic

Remembering pharmacy staff who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic

As we reach a year since the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in China, we pay tribute to some of the pharmacy staff in the UK who have lost their lives to the infection.

Infographic

Virus lifecycle and potential therapies

Targeting COVID-19: the drugs being fast-tracked through clinical trials and how they work

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.

COVID 19 Infographic March 2020 Vaccine development

The race to stop COVID-19

As a new strain of coronavirus threatens public health systems across the globe, researchers are racing to develop a vaccine.

Learning

Managing pneumonia in adults with suspected COVID-19

Community management of pneumonia and suspected COVID-19

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.

STOP sign in pharmacy

How to keep your community pharmacy running during the COVID-19 pandemic

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.

Careers

A day in the life of a critical care pharmacist Sandra Sowah

'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.

Tips for new pre-registration trainees

Training during a pandemic: tips for new preregistration trainees

Pharmacy professionals share their advice with the new cohort of preregistration pharmacists about to start their training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shazia Karsan

'I do not know what to expect' — a day in the life of a pharmacist redeployed owing to COVID-19

Despite having a background in hospital, integrated care pharmacist Shazia Karsan felt an element of anxiety when redeployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parham Hashem DITL

‘We are at the forefront of COVID-19 research’ — a day in the life of a clinical trials pharmacist

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.

Editorial

Pharmacies must be at the forefront of the COVID 19 vaccination campaign

Pharmacies must be at the forefront of the COVID-19 vaccination campaignSubscription

It will not be easy to deliver the huge COVID-19 vaccination programme, but there is no doubt that the profession can step up to the challenge, with community pharmacy playing a vital role.

We're running out of time to tackle COVID 19 vaccine hesitancy

We’re running out of time to tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

The seeds of doubt are being sown before a vaccine has even been approved. It is time to prepare the public for what could be a significant hurdle for any COVID-19 vaccine.

Warm words are not enough for community pharmacy

Warm words are not enough for community pharmacySubscription

Community pharmacies have worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic; it is time they were given additional funding to help them prepare for the next wave.

COVID 19 antibody testing has not proved as simple as ministers thought

COVID-19 antibody testing not yet a 'game changer'

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.

Insight

Down, but not out: hydroxychloroquine could still have a role against COVID 19

Down, but not out: hydroxychloroquine could still have a role against COVID-19

Ongoing research may yet prove that the 4-aminoquinolones are an effective prophylactic medication in those at risk of developing COVID-19.

Medicines being thrown into a bin

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.

Comment

Asian woman with face mask

We must tear down the barriers to equality for BAME communities highlighted by COVID-19Subscription

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.

We risk a cardiovascular health crisis if patients stop seeking help when they need it

We risk a cardiovascular health crisis if patients stop seeking help when they need it

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.

COVID 19 people who are dependent on illicit drugs

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.

Three ways to safeguard UK drug supplies during COVID 19 and beyond SS20

Ways to safeguard UK drug supplies during COVID-19 and beyond

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.

Research

Rapid review of treatments for novel coronavirus SARS CoV 2 infection

Investigational treatments for COVID-19

A review of several of the treatments for COVID-19 currently being trialled.

Q&A

Richard Hobbs

Richard Hobbs: ‘This trial has been a monumental task’

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.

Jo Churchill pharmacy minister

Jo Churchill: 'I'm having forceful conversations about new funding for pharmacy'

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.

Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive officer of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies

Leyla Hannbeck: ‘COVID-19 has many pharmacies struggling to keep their heads above water’

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.

Blogs

I’ve had my Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and here’s why my pharmacist colleagues should too

I’ve had my Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and here’s why my pharmacist colleagues should too

Community pharmacist and pharmacy teacher Chaohui Wang was anxious about having her vaccine, but here’s why she feels reassured by the science supporting it.

Im an academic pharmacist who retrained to give remote consultations during the pandemic

I'm an academic pharmacist who retrained to give remote consultations during the pandemic

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

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.

Sarah Seddon

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.

Your RPS

covid 19 vaccination

RPS backs changes to interval between COVID-19 vaccination doses

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said it strongly supports changes to the planned interval between currently licensed COVID-19 vaccine doses in the UK.

mental health concept

Formal referrals from pharmacy to mental health specialists are needed following COVID-19 pandemic, says RPS

Formal mechanisms for pharmacists to directly refer people to specialist mental health care should be put in place following the COVID-19 pandemic.

News

covid 19 vaccination

Further 65 community pharmacy sites to start vaccinating patients against COVID-19

An additional 65 community pharmacy-led vaccination sites will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines over the coming week.

Vaccine being drawn

Community pharmacies ‘in all parts’ of Wales to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, says first minister

The first community pharmacy in Wales will deliver a COVID-19 vaccine this week, ahead of a roll out to pharmacies “in all parts” of the country.

Additional resources

End-of-life care

Holding hands with someone in a hospital bed

Anticipatory prescribing practices rapidly changing under COVID-19

9 JUL 2020

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

Caring for palliative care patients at home: medicines management principles and considerationsSubscription

9 JUN 2020By , , , , , ,

Pharmacists need to understand the range of medicine support that they and their teams can provide to palliative care patients and their caregivers.

Case-based learning: palliative care

Case-based learning: palliative and end-of-life care in community pharmacySubscription

25 OCT 2019By

Community pharmacists encounter patients at all stages in their life; however, patients who require palliative care require dedicated time and special consideration.

Angiogram of a calf showing deep vein thrombosis

Prevention of venous thromboembolism in hospitalised patientsSubscription

5 FEB 2019By

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.

Pharmacist opening a controlled drugs cabinet

Improving and standardising the management of controlled drugsSubscription

25 SEP 2018By , , ,

Ensuring the safe and effective management of controlled drugs is an important role for pharmacists, particularly in secondary care.

Critical care

Person using oxygen mask

Drug shortage means prescribers asked to switch treatment for acute respiratory problems in COVID-19 patients

18 JAN 2021By

A shortage of the drug methylprednisolone to support “business as usual” has led to organisations being asked to stop prescribing it for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients with COVID-19.

Intensive care unit

Clinicians encouraged to consider tocilizumab or sarilumab in treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients

7 JAN 2021By

The rheumatoid arthritis drugs, tocilizumab and sarilumab, should be considered in the treatment of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care, according to updated NHS guidance.

Intensive care unit

Guidance on off-label use of tocilizumab for UK COVID-19 patients published

26 NOV 2020By

A UK-wide position statement to support off-label prescribing and access to tocilizumab, administered intravenously, for eligible COVID-19 patients in intensive care has been published.

critical care hospital

Early trial results suggest tocilizumab significantly improves outcomes for critically ill COVID-19 patients

20 NOV 2020By

The rheumatoid arthritis drug tocilizumab significantly improves outcomes for critically ill patients with severe COVID-19, early findings from the Randomised, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia have suggested.

aspirin nsaid pill

Aspirin added to RECOVERY COVID-19 trial, MPs told

5 NOV 2020By

Aspirin is the latest drug to be added to the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy trial, the chair of the trial has told MPs.

Infection prevention

our pharmacy team is leading our pcn

Our pharmacy team is leading our PCN’s COVID-19 vaccination service — and it feels electric

15 JAN 2021By

Spirits are running high at Chesterfield and Dronfield Primary Care Network, which has given 4,500 COVID-19 vaccinations since Christmas, says lead pharmacist Isobel Bancroft.

Keir starmer debating in house of commons

Government should use community pharmacies to deliver 24/7 COVID-19 vaccination service, says Labour leader

15 JAN 2021By

The government should capitalise on community pharmacies’ offers to support the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to help deliver a faster, 24/7 programme by the end of February 2021, Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, has said.

Ten things pharmacists should know about COVID 19 vaccines

Ten things pharmacists should know about COVID-19 vaccines

13 JAN 2021By

Work towards a COVID-19 vaccine is progressing rapidly and new information is emerging every day. Here we aim to summarise the most important details of COVID-19 vaccine development from a pharmacy perspective.

Vaccination close up

'Small number' of pharmacies bid to administer newly approved COVID-19 vaccines

2 DEC 2020By ,

Only a ‘small number’ of independent multiples have applied to administer COVID-19 vaccines from designated pharmacy-led sites, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies has said.

vaccine medications drawer supplies

Pharmacy negotiator in talks with government on how pharmacists will help deliver a COVID-19 vaccine

5 NOV 2020By

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has said it is working with NHS England and Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care to agree how pharmacies can play a part in the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Wellbeing

covid19 community pharmacy

A third of pharmacists report COVID-19 significantly impacted their mental health and wellbeing

25 NOV 2020

Just under a third (31%) of pharmacists said that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their mental health and wellbeing to a significant extent, according to a survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and charity Pharmacist Support.

'I could barely function' – the devastating effects of long COVID

'I could barely function' – the devastating effects of long COVID

5 NOV 2020By

Most people recover from COVID-19 within two weeks; however, early figures suggest that around one in seven people have symptoms lasting for at least four weeks, and a smaller proportion are sick for months.

woman behind frosted glass depression

Rate of depression in Great Britain doubled during COVID-19 pandemic, ONS figures reveal

19 AUG 2020By

The number of adults experiencing some form of depression in Great Britain has doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown.

Sick from stress: presenteeism in pharmacy

Sick from stress: 'presenteeism' in pharmacySubscription

3 FEB 2020By

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.

Writing comp featured image

Just talking, itself, is therapeutic

30 AUG 2019By

Writing competition 2019

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