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  • A simple multifunctional tool for integrated care of COPDSubscription

    17 JAN 2019

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects around 1.2 million people in the UK and has an impact across NHS services[1]. Patients frequently present acutely in the emergency department with an exacerbation of the disease and rely heavily on community ...

  • Calculating the fatal dose of novel psychoactive substancesSubscription

    10 JAN 2019

    The article ‘Have legislative changes curbed use of ’legal highs’?’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2018;301:7920) concerning novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) highlighted the huge number of these drugs that are now available, with more appearing each week. One problem is that many of these NPSs ...

  • Calculation questions in the preregistration exam must be fair and reflect real-world practiceSubscription

    7 JAN 2019

    Over the past 20 years I have supported preregistration students, particularly with calculations in the preregistration exam. One advantage of the old multiple-choice question style was that the answer was given in the correct format with the correct units. In the new style of question, assistance is limited to a box in which to enter a number and the examinee is required to enter the correct units. I have been asked for help with these questions used for preregistration training — ...

  • Recruiting community pharmacies to a smoking support service trial using the 'Russian doll' approachSubscription

    21 DEC 2018

    ‘Smoking Treatment Optimisation in Pharmacies’ (STOP) is a six-year programme funded by the National Institute for Health Research. STOP is a complex intervention based on behavioural theory, and involves training for pharmacy staff and associated study materials, such as badges and posters. The STOP trial is assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the STOP intervention on smoker recruitment, retention and quit rates in the NHS stop smoking service based in community pharmacy. ...

  • Managing interstitial lung disease: impact of involving a specialist respiratory pharmacistSubscription

    20 DEC 2018

    Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is an umbrella term describing a diverse group of lung diseases that result in impairment or fibrosis of the alveolar interstitium. Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias are the most common ILDs; and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is most common among this cohort of patients. Symptoms of ILD include breathlessness and a persistent, dry and irritating cough. Patients with ILD may experience acute exacerbations, which can increase the burden of disease, ...

  • Wishing a happy retirement to hospital pharmacist Tony SivnerSubscription

    19 DEC 2018

    Tony Sivner will retire from his post as chief pharmacist at Tameside Hospital on 31 December 2018 after 35 years’ service to Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Pharmacists and technicians should reap benefits of NHS leadership programmeSubscription

    14 DEC 2018

    Health Education England (HEE) welcomes the attention placed on the Mary Seacole leadership programme in Hemant Patel’s ‘A message to Keith Ridge: unrealistic expectations are not the way forward’, and we are pleased to see that he and his local pharmaceutical committee colleagues have applied ...

  • Polypharmacy highlights the problem with conventional medicineSubscription

    12 DEC 2018

    Harriet Pike’s recent article in The Pharmaceutical Journal, ‘Deprescribing: the fightback against polypharmacy has begun’, points to a clear problem relating to conventional medicine. The reductionist approach associated with this type of medicine lends ...

  • NICE must provide patient decision aids if the tools are to become part of routine practiceSubscription

    7 DEC 2018

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guideline NG5 — ‘Medicines optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes’ — sets recommendations around patient decision aids (PDAs) used in consultations involving ...

  • CPPE and RPS working together to help pharmacists with revalidationSubscription

    5 DEC 2018

    With many options for learning, and many different organisations providing guidance, wouldn’t it be great if we could consolidate the resources and support available?

  • November issue's ironic placement of news stories on pharmacist adviceSubscription

    4 DEC 2018

    While reading the November issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal, was I the only one who noticed the slight irony in the ‘News in brief’ section?

  • Rolling out emergency treatment boxes for bacterial endophthalmitisSubscription

    26 NOV 2018

    Bacterial endophthalmitis is a sight-threatening eye infection, which may occur after penetrating injuries and ocular procedures. Bacterial load in the eye can double within 30 minutes. For this reason, European guidelines recommend delivery of endophthalmitis treatment within one hour of presentation

  • Anticoagulation: hospital and GP-based pharmacists working togetherSubscription

    21 NOV 2018

    The pharmacist-led direct oral anticoagulation (DOAC) clinic at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, north west London, was set up in April 2017 and sees patients from Brent and Harrow clinical commissioning groups.

  • Pharmacy owners and regulator must give responsible pharmacists true autonomySubscription

    8 NOV 2018

    I read with interest a piece by Greg Lawton proposing that the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) uses its powers to set mandatory minimum staffing levels in community pharmacies. Like many others, I ...

  • Older people with hand disabilities struggle to open blister packsSubscription

    7 NOV 2018

    This is a plea for the designers of blister pill packs to consider the increasing numbers of older people (and others) who have serious problems removing pills from the blister packs in which they are supplied.

  • Pharmacists need a formulary for the aviation industrySubscription

    2 NOV 2018

    Those working in community pharmacy may be familiar with the same faces and camaraderie, but those working in an airport pharmacy will have a different set of customers and patient groups to consider. One such group is airline pilots, who have very specific needs — in particular, the need to operate an aeroplane safely.

  • Empirical antibiotic treatment of sepsis: impact of specialist pharmacist reviewSubscription

    1 NOV 2018

    Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommend that empirical antibiotic courses initiated in hospital inpatients should be reviewed within 72 hours[1]; ...

  • Prescribing and deprescribing sodium valproate: implications for pharmacy practiceSubscription

    31 OCT 2018

    Children exposed to valproate in utero are at a high risk of serious developmental disorders (30–40% risk) and congenital malformations (10% risk). Valproate is now contraindicated in pregnancy for all indications, except for the treatment of epilepsy in the absence of a suitable alternative

  • Ward-based pharmacists are beneficial and cost-effectiveSubscription

    29 OCT 2018

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline NG94, published in March 2018, focused on organising and delivering emergency and acute medical care for people aged over 16 years in the community and in hospital

  • Preregistration exam result gap is far less clear cut than editorial suggestsSubscription

    25 OCT 2018

    I was disappointed by your editorial ‘Exam gap must be closed’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 24 September 2018).

  • Seeking Aberdeen RGIT graduates for a class of 1986 reunionSubscription

    25 OCT 2018

    Time changes everything, except true friendships made at the School of Pharmacy of Aberdeen Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology (RGIT; now Robert Gordon University). Come back to reconnect, recapture, and recreate your special moments at your class of 1986 reunion!

  • Questioning Keith Ridge's 'regret' for the cuts to community pharmacy fundingSubscription

    12 OCT 2018

    I commend The Pharmaceutical Journal for securing an interview with England’s ...

  • Harnessing the arts in pharmacy practice to improve public healthSubscription

    12 OCT 2018

    I am a pharmacist and a lecturer in pharmacy practice, but I am also a sculptor. I enjoy the tactile and sensory nature of the sculpting process and I experiment with a range of materials. I am fascinated by the way objects occupy space and affect how people feel.

  • Reducing suboptimal prescribing of glucagon-like peptide mimetics in type 2 diabetesSubscription

    11 OCT 2018

    In 2016, spend on diabetes prescribing — and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) mimetics, in particular — at NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG was significantly higher than expected, based on national prescribing patterns. There was also significant variation between GP practices. A project was undertaken by the medicines management (MM) team to support primary care diabetes teams to work with patients to optimise prescribing ...

  • Community pharmacy is not the only sector to be affected by BrexitSubscription

    10 OCT 2018

    Following the UK general election in 2017, The Pharmaceutical Journal ran an article asking several pharmacists for their thoughts on the result (2017;298:351–353). One pharmacist worked in a GP surgery, but the remainder all worked in community pharmacy. I wrote to the journal then (

  • Call for submissions on polypharmacy and medicines optimisation

    9 OCT 2018By ,

    Clinical Pharmacist today invites article submissions to showcase current and best practice in the area of polypharmacy and medicines optimisation.

  • Clarifying comments made about research into the new medicines serviceSubscription

    28 SEP 2018

    The opinion piece ‘Let’s be honest about the new medicine service’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 21 August 2018) argues for more research before the new medicine service (NMS) is rolled out to mental health patients; the argument is based partly on statements about perceived weaknesses ...

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