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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.


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.

Isolated older woman at home

Isolated, but not alone: how pharmacies are supporting older patients during COVID-19

Community pharmacy is providing a vital connection to support older and clinically vulnerable patients during lockdown in the UK.

Jatinder Harchowal

Pharmacy — one of the driving forces behind the COVID-19 emergency hospitals

The temporary field hospitals set up across the UK to help the NHS cope during the COVID-19 pandemic have given hospital pharmacists a unique opportunity for valuable learning and teamwork.

Are pharmacy teams being protected against COVID-19?

Are pharmacy teams being protected against COVID-19?

When Public Health England published new guidance on the use of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic on 2 April 2020, pharmacy’s representative bodies thought the battle was won.

Coronavirus COVID-19

The hunt for an effective treatment for COVID-19

As researchers around the globe drop everything to find a treatment for COVID-19, we look at the likely frontrunners for managing this deadly disease.


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.


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.


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.

News blog

Warehouse with boxes and empty shelves ss19

COVID-19 LATEST: Pharmacy bid for extra COVID-19 funding submitted to government

All the most important developments in the COVID-19 pandemic for pharmacists and their teams, as they happen.


Change concept

Pharmacy must change as a result of COVID-19, or be left behind

The pharmacy sector must not underestimate the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will transform the NHS. 

Serology testing for COVID 19 is the way forward but we could face a long wait

Serology testing for COVID-19 is the way forward, but we could face a long wait

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.

Why we should be wary of 'game-changing' claims about COVID-19 treatments

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.

Pharmacist wearing personal protective equipment during coronavirus pandemic

Pharmacy teams need protection to keep running during COVID-19

Personal protective equipment is vital in allowing pharmacists to continue their essential work during the pandemic, yet pharmacies have not received enough to continue operating safely.


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.


Five ways to protect your mental and emotional wellbeing during COVID-19

Five ways to promote self-care for you and your team during COVID-19

It is more important than ever to ensure the wellbeing of the frontline pharmacy workforce; here are some tips on how this can be done.


How I faced COVID-19 as a critical care pharmacist in one of the UK's worst hit regions

How I faced COVID-19 as a critical care pharmacist in one of the UK's worst hit regions

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.

How I prepared healthcare professionals for battle at London’s COVID-19 Nightingale hospital

How I prepared healthcare professionals for battle at London’s COVID-19 Nightingale hospital

London’s pop-up COVID-19 hospital constantly adapted and set the standards for other emergency field hospitals, says pharmacy educator Yinka Kuye.

concept showing someone overcoming a problem

A message to preregistration trainees in the time of COVID-19: this setback can make you stronger

Stephen Sekimwanyi, a pharmacist who has had his fair share of career setbacks, offers advice to preregistration trainees in light of the General Pharmaceutical Council’s decision to delay the pharmacy registration exam.

Man impatiently waiting to be served

COVID-19: I was punched by an angry patient in my frontline pharmacy on Good Friday

Pharmacist manager Krunal Vyas was left shocked, shaken and questioning his place in the profession after he was abused by an angry patient during the Easter weekend.

Your RPS

Pharmacy PPE

Pharmacists must be given access to PPE online ordering system, RPS says

Pharmacists must be given access to an online portal through which healthcare and social care professionals can order personal protective equipment, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said.

molly stevens

Pharmacist leading coronavirus rapid test project elected as Fellow of Royal Society

A pharmacist who is currently leading a €600,000 project to develop a rapid test for coronavirus infection has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.


Mark Lyonette

Thousands of pharmacies in deficit could close owing to COVID-19, trade body warns government

Thousands of pharmacies could close if they do not receive extra funding to cope with COVID-19 pressures as around half were already in deficit at the start of the pandemic, the National Pharmacy Association has told the government.

Are pharmacy teams being protected against COVID-19?

Pharmacy leaders concerned over lack of widespread COVID-19 risk assessment for BAME staff

Pharmacy leaders in the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have expressed concern that assessments of black, Asian and minority ethnic staff’s susceptibility to COVID-19 are not widespread enough in community pharmacy.

Additional resources

End-of-life care

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.

Pharmacist speaks with patient in consultation room

How to provide patients with the right information to make informed decisionsSubscription

19 JUN 2018By

A tailored approach can help pharmacists support patients to make better treatment choices, resulting in more successful outcomes.

Close up of young woman holding elderly patient's hand

Facilitating anticipatory prescribing in end-of-life careSubscription

16 MAY 2017By

Anticipatory prescribing enables patients in the last days and weeks of their lives to have their symptoms managed at home. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to provide practical support and advice to other healthcare professionals on the prescribing and administration of anticipatory medicines and to facilitate timely supply.

Critical care

Prescribing medication

The top ten prescribing errors in practice and how to avoid themSubscription

21 FEB 2019By , , ,

Prescribing errors affect patient safety, but pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can reduce the risk of them occurring.

Close up of an IV drip

Intravenous fluid managementSubscription

30 NOV 2018By

An introduction to fluid management for adults in hospitals, covering replacement during resuscitation, malnourished patients and following large electrolyte losses.

Infection prevention

Washing hands

Hand hygiene interventions could lower death rates in nursing home residentsSubscription

26 MAR 2018

Hand hygiene interventions, well known for their ability to reduce disease and death rates, are rarely implemented in nursing homes.

Scanning electron microscope of lung tissue

Diagnosis and management of hospital-acquired pneumonia in older adults Subscription

6 FEB 2018By

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.

Illustration antibiotic destroying bacteria

Principles of initiating antimicrobial therapy and empiric prescribingSubscription

11 AUG 2016By

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.

Healthcare-associated infection in England was 6.4% in 2011 and six common infections accounted for over 80% of infections in adults. In the image, a petri dish with a staphylococcus aureus culture

Healthcare-associated infection: best practice in prevention and controlSubscription

21 JUL 2015By

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 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

Helping hands and people talking

Supporting the supporterSubscription

27 NOV 2017By

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? 

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