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The Pharmaceutical Journal


Lady Justice at the Old Bailey in London

No more delays with rebalancing medicines legislation and pharmacy regulationSubscription

We need fewer empty promises and more action and progress with rebalancing medicines legislation and pharmacy regulation — particularly around dispensing errors.


Illustration of legal scales

Why pharmacists need to re-evaluate what information they provide to patientsSubscription

By ,

Previous court cases concerning informed consent of treatment have raised questions about what consent means in relation to pharmacists, medicines and prescribing.


From left (top), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Flavia Bustreo, Philippe Douste-Blazy, (bottom) David Nabarro, Sania Nishtar and Miklós Szócska

Q&A: WHO director-general candidates’ views on global healthSubscription


Six candidates in the race to be director-general of the World Health Organization outline their priorities and vision for global health.

Learning article

Health worker holding a dying patient's hand

Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carersSubscription

By , ,

Pharmacists are becoming increasingly involved in palliative care and can be a source of important information and support for patients at the end of life. Health professionals caring for patients with advanced illness should develop skills for communicating with patients, and their families and carers.

Woman holds a positive pregnancy test

Preconception care: dietary and lifestyle adviceSubscription

By ,

Engagement by women with a pharmacist or healthcare professional for preconception advice and care ranges from 18% to 45%. Pharmacists are uniquely placed to provide this advice when individuals present for new registration checks, well-woman consultations, contraceptive advice and reviews, as well as medicine use reviews.


Members of the team at Warman-Freed pharmacy

How pharmacists can boost sales of over-the-counter medicinesSubscription


Joanna Mills, consumer and influencer insight manager at specialist over-the-counter pharmaceutical company Perrigo, uses examples from Warman-Freed pharmacy in London to explain how pharmacists can increase their sales of non-prescription products.

Call centre desks

What pharmacists do at NHS 111Subscription


Saša Jankovic finds out how pharmacists play an integral role at the non-emergency medical helpline for England and Scotland.

Rachel Macdonald, professional services pharmacist for PCT Healthcare Ltd

How Rachel Macdonald got involved in research in a community pharmacySubscription


Rachel Macdonald, professional services pharmacist for PCT Healthcare Ltd, recently participated in the Salford Lung Study in community pharmacy.


The new oral anticoagulant drugs Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban and Apixaban pills and pill boxes

Safety issues highlighted with newer oral anticoagulant drugs

Analysis of ‘real-life’ data comparing newer direct oral anticoagulants with warfarin has identified adverse drug reactions (ADRs) ‘not previously associated’ with the new treatments, including hip fracture.

Toddler using an inhaler

Heartburn drug use during pregnancy associated with asthma in children

A new study shows that children born to women who take heartburn medicines when pregnant are at least a third more likely to develop asthma symptoms compared with non-users, but scientists say more research is needed to confirm whether there are any other reasons behind the possible link.

vaughan gething wales welsh wales health secretary

Treatment fund launched in Wales for newly approved drugs

An £80m new treatment fund to pay for high-cost drugs approved for use on the NHS in Wales has been launched.

Scottish government building in Edinburgh

Scottish government confirms commitment to GP practice role for pharmacists

The Scottish government has reiterated its commitment for 140 prescribing pharmacists to work directly with general practices by the end of 2018.

Patients waiting in GP waiting room

NHS England announces extra £112m for expansion of GP-based pharmacist scheme

NHS England has announced it will supply an additional £112m investment to roll out a pilot scheme embedding clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries.

Dispensary shelves in a pharmacy

Similar branding partly blamed for ‘devastating’ dispensing error

An “overworked” community pharmacist, who pleaded guilty to dispensing the wrong drug to a patient who later died, has been sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for two years.

News in Brief

Alex MacKinnon, acting chief executive of the RPS

Alex MacKinnon, director for Scotland, to act as interim chief executive of RPSSubscription

18 JAN 2017By

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society RPS president Martin Astbury says Alex MacKinnon is “delighted to accept the acting up arrangement”

Person using inhaler

New inhaler standards endorsed by RPSSubscription

18 JAN 2017By

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has endorsed a new set of inhaler standards developed by the UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) — a coalition of not-for-profit organisations and professional societies with a common interest in promoting the correct use of inhaled therapies.

Ian Strachan, chair of the National Pharmacy Association

Two legal cases against pharmacy cuts to be heard jointly in March 2017

16 JAN 2017

The UK High Court will consider two legal actions against the government’s decision to cut community pharmacy funding in a hearing set for March 2017.

Karen Baxter, director of the BNF

BNF receives NICE accreditation

13 JAN 2017By

Source: PharmPress The BNF has now been accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 

Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE

Kidney cancer drug to be funded by NHS after manufacturer cuts price

12 JAN 2017

Everolimus has been recommended for use in the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence after its manufacturer, Novartis, cuts its price.

Young woman taking a pill

US agency reaffirms folic acid advice for women planning pregnancy

11 JAN 2017

The US Preventive Services Task Force has reaffirmed its 2009 advice that all women who are planning or capable of pregnancy should take a daily supplement of folic acid of between 0.4mg and 0.8mg to reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt

Hunt denies community pharmacy funding cuts will deepen NHS crisis

11 JAN 2017

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied that the government’s decision to cut the community pharmacy budget in England will deepen the current NHS crisis.

The Food and Drug Administration

FDA approves nusinersen for use in rare genetic condition

3 JAN 2017

The first drug approved to treat patients with the potentially fatal genetic disease spinal muscular atrophy has been approved for use in the United States.

Pharmacy shelves

Australia tightens restrictions over codeine-containing medicines

23 DEC 2016By

Products containing codeine will no longer be available over the counter in Australia following a review by its medicine’s regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The Pharmaceutical Journal

January 2017, Vol 298, No 7897

Cover Story:

Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carers

Read more…

The Pharmaceutical Journal

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Your RPS

Sunayana Shah

Sunayana Shah appointed as chair of RPS’s Industrial Pharmacy Advisory Group

Sunayana Shah, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, has been appointed chair of the Society’s newly formed Industrial Pharmacy Advisory Group.

Clare Morrison

Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting: 8 October 2020

The Scottish Pharmacy Board discussed work on inclusion and diversity to encourage members to stand at the national pharmacy board elections, as well as careers support and ideas around changing the structure of board meetings.

Martin Astbury, vice president of English Pharmacy Board

English Pharmacy Board meeting: 8 October 2020

Topics discussed at the latest English Pharmacy Board meeting included learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Action in Belonging, Culture and Diversity group and updates on education.

Suzanne Scott Thomas

Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting: 8 October 2020

Discussions at the latest Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting revolved around how the Society can help promote independent prescribing pharmacists, the 2021 manifesto for the Welsh government elections and updates around science and research.

Leech jar

Pharmaceutical leech jar, 19th century

This drug jar was used in the 19th century to store leeches, which were used to treat localised swelling and infections.

Mental health support

RPS Scotland policy sets out how pharmacists can support people with mental health conditions

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland’s has published a policy on how pharmacists can improve care of people with mental health conditions.

clare morrison

Clare Morrison: ‘I honestly think this is the most exciting role in pharmacy in Scotland’


Clare Morrison, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s new director for Scotland, talks us through her career Source: Source: Courtesy of Clare Morrison Clare Morrison says that taking on the Scotland brief ...

election ballot paper

RPS Wales and Scotland publish manifestos ahead of 2021 devolved parliamentary elections

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales and in Scotland have published their manifestos ahead of the 2021 parliamentary elections in their respective nations.

Gail Fleming

RPS launches consultant pharmacist credentialing programme

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has launched a consultant pharmacist credentialing programme.

parcel prescription delivery

Medicines substitutions in supermarket home deliveries put customers at risk, RPS warns


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has warned that substituting medicines in supermarket home deliveries could put customers at risk.

eu flags brussels

UK could see ‘influx of counterfeit medicines’ without FMD after Brexit, warns RPSSubscription


The UK could see “an influx of counterfeit medicines” after the Falsified Medicines Directive ceases to apply at the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has warned.

Museum Treasures October 2020

Bronze mortar, 16th century

The decoration on this bronze mortar symbolises the diversity of medicines development.


RPS and APTUK join NHS England to agree on inclusion and diversity principles for the sector


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and other bodies have developed a joint set of principles to improve inclusion, diversity and belonging in pharmacy.

students taking exam

RPS and BPSA urge regulator to set date for 2020 registration assessment


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association have pressed the General Pharmaceutical Council to announce a date for the 2020 registration assessment.

Flu vaccine being given

Collaborate to deliver biggest ever flu vaccination programme, RPS and RCGP say

Pharmacists and GPs should work together to make sure as many people as possible get their flu vaccination this winter, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Royal College of General Practitioners have said.

Mahendra Patel

Pharmacist brought in to encourage BAME recruitment to major UK COVID-19 clinical trial

A pharmacist has been brought in to strengthen recruitment of black, Asian and minority ethnic patients to one of the major UK-based COVID-19 trials.


Let pharmacists amend prescriptions to mitigate impact of medicines shortages, RPS tells government

Pharmacists should be allowed to alter prescriptions without going back to the prescriber when medicines shortages hit, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said.

Amandeep Doll

Amandeep Doll: ‘We have to become more comfortable with the uncomfortable’

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s inclusion and diversity co-ordinator, Amandeep Doll, reveals what the RPS aims to do with its inclusion and diversity strategy over the next five years.

Radium crystal salts index

‘Radium’ Buxton Crystal Salts, circa 1930

Before its detrimental effects on health were discovered, radium was hailed as a wonder drug in the early 20th century.

Online study

RPS to offer free clinical consultation skills training to community pharmacists in England

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, together with Health Education England and the Royal College of GPs, are offering free online continuing professional development workshops for community pharmacists across England.


For official announcements from The Royal Pharmaceutical society please visit the announcements page here.

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