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Medicines Safety

medicines safety special report alamy 19

During February, The Pharmaceutical Journal will publish a series of articles on medication safety and how to prevent the 200 million drug errors in the NHS each year. #PJrightmedicine #medicationsafety #pharmacy


Gastric bleed

Forgotten patients: thousands left on risky anticoagulant combinationsSubscription


Combinations of drugs involving anticoagulants are one of the most frequent causes of medicine-related hospital admissions, but pharmacists can help reduce the risk.

pills forming magnifying glass

The GP pharmacists leading a life-saving medicines safety projectSubscription


A major initiative by pharmacists to reduce risky medicines use in the community will be rolled out across the country after it was found to reduce serious adverse events.

concept illustration of a junior doctor's body split in half, the effects of blame to the right and the effects of help on the other

Train not blame: how one hospital trust boosted error reporting by over 100%Subscription


Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has dramatically improved medicines safety through pharmacy-led initiatives to address mistakes in prescribing and improve error reporting.

Multicompartment compliance aid

Are we dispensing too many multicompartment compliance aids?Subscription


Millions of multicompartment compliance aids (MCAs) are handed out by pharmacists each year, but evidence for their benefits is hard to find. Few patients are assessed before being given an MCA and concerns are building over potential errors and harms.

2 plates with different amounts of pills

Deprescribing: the fightback against polypharmacy has begunSubscription


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.


Prescribing medication

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

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

How to investigate and manage a medication incident

How to investigate and manage a medication incidentSubscription


Of the nearly 237 million medication errors occurring in England each year, 28% have the potential to cause harm. This article outlines the immediate steps to be taken following identification of a medicines safety incident.

Pharmacist opening a controlled drugs cabinet

Improving and standardising the management of controlled drugsSubscription

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


Infographic medicines safety

Medication errors: where do they happen?Subscription


Reducing medicines-related harm requires a clear understanding of where and when errors occur. This visual summary shows the latest estimates in England per year.


Illustration of cytochrome P450. Enzymes within the cytochrome P450 superfamily are essential for the metabolism of many medicines

Tobacco smoking and its potential drug interactionsSubscription

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Smoking and smoking cessation treatments have a pharmacological impact on some commonly used drugs and should be taken into account during the selection, introduction and cessation of medicines.

Your RPS

Martindale's ADR Checker

RPS launches digital ADR checker

Pharmaceutical Press, the publishing arm of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, has launched a digital product allowing clinicians to search for potential adverse drug reactions (ADRs) among more than 1,600 drugs.


Pill dispenser box being thrown into a bin

Think outside the box: replacing multicompartment compliance aidsSubscription

In January 2019, Boots announced that it was changing the way it dispenses medicines to care homes — from multicompartment compliance aids to original packs.


Medicines safety

We can do more to improve medicines safety for patients in the NHSSubscription


How pharmacists are at the forefront of a national scheme to make the NHS the safest health service in the world for medicines.


IV Illustration

Patients are being underdosed: we need new guidance on small-volume drug infusionsSubscription


Too many patients are not receiving their full prescribed dose with small-volume drug infusions, but hospital pharmacists can act to ensure patient safety.

patient clinging on to opioids

How pharmacists can help prevent an ‘opioid crisis’ developing in the UKSubscription

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Pharmacy must demonstrate that it has the knowledge and skills to support people to use opiods safely and effectively.

Learning from mistakes concept, building block

A failure to learn from our mistakes puts patients at riskSubscription


Collective amnesia in the NHS means that major issues affecting patient safety, such as medication errors, are not being adequately addressed, writes David Cousins.


Rajesh Jethwa, medication safety officer at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

A day in the life of a medication safety officerSubscription


Rajesh Jethwa details a typical day at Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust as a medication safety officer.


Roger Knaggs

Roger Knaggs: 'We need to find a balance between appropriate use and minimising harm'Subscription


Government adviser and specialist pharmacist Roger Knaggs speaks about reducing opioid dependency, non-drug alternatives for chronic pain and why we need to be cautious about medical cannabis.

Tracey Herlihey, head of safety intelligence at the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch

No blame game: giving pharmacists a 'safe space' to discuss errorsSubscription


Safety expert of a new investigative body talks to Abigail James about how its approach will enable pharmacists to be more transparent about errors.


image collage of Mansi Shah at work

Pioneering an independent medicines optimisation clinic in community, in India


Pharmacist Mansi Shah has developed the first independent community medicines optimisation service in India, but it has not been without its challenges.

question mark pills in pot

Shining a light on medicines safety in special #PJrightmedicine monthSubscription


In February 2019, The Pharmaceutical Journal is celebrating pharmacists’ contribution to improving medicines safety in the UK.

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