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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

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.

Tony Scully publisher of Pharmaceutical Journal Publications

Tony Scully: 'We need to constantly keep adapting and growing in new ways'


Tony Scully, a publishing director at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society with responsibility for The Pharmaceutical Journal and a portfolio of other editorial products, discusses the evolution of The Pharmaceutical Journal, future plans and how we are supporting pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society from around the world explain how their practice has changed in the face of COVID-19

How RPS members around the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society from around the world explain how their practice has changed in the face of COVID-19.

Mary Smith  a pharmacy inspiration

My mother, Mary Smith: a pharmacy inspiration

By Anthony Smith

Source: Mary Smith Mary Smith, my mother, is an inspiration to many pharmacists — not just myself

How the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is working to support pharmacists through the COVID-19 pandemic

How the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is working to support pharmacists through the COVID-19 pandemic


Since announcing it would be exclusively focusing its resources on supporting members through the COVID-19 outbreak for the foreseeable future, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has been striving for better support for the profession across England, Scotland and Wales.

Mahendra Patel

Promoting antibiotic guardians in India


English Pharmacy Board member Mahendra Patel on sharing the antimicrobial stewardship message across India, with students and younger pharmacists at the vanguard.

Scotland RPS Board

Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting: 22 January 2020

At the latest Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting, discussions revolved around pharmacotherapy, science and research, and public affairs in Scotland.

England RPS Board

English Pharmacy Board meeting: 30 January 2020

At the latest Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board meeting, discussions revolved around plans for science and research, and a digital edition of Medicines, Ethics and Practice.

Wales RPS Board

Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting: 5 February 2020

At the latest Royal Pharmaceutical Society Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting, discussions revolved around Brexit, medicines shortages and public affairs in Wales.

RPS headquarters on East Smithfield, east London

RPS to focus activities on coronavirus support

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has announced that it will stop all activities that are not related to coronavirus. The decision has been made because “supporting our members, the wider profession and the public around COVID-19 is now our priority”.


Advice on NSAIDs and COVID-19

RPS issues advice following news reports originating in France regarding the use of ibuprofen in patients with COVID-19


RPS elections 2020: three board members explain why members should stand

Current Royal Pharmaceutical Society national pharmacy board members Tracey Thornley, John McAnaw and Dylan Jones discuss what members can achieve by standing for election.

Sandra Gidley

RPS backs regulator's guidance on buying medicines online

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is one of nine healthcare bodies backing new General Pharmaceutical Council guidance for patients ordering medicines or treatment online.

RPS device screens

Member feedback leads to MyCPD upgrade


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s MyCPD app has been upgraded and synchronised with the Society’s web-based MyCPD portfolio. This means that any entries made on the MyCPD app will now also appear in the desktop portfolio — and vice versa.

Raj Aggarwal FRPharmS

Royal Pharmaceutical Society Fellow Raj Aggarwal is promoted to honorary Royal Navy Captain

Raj Aggarwal FRPharmS, a Cardiff-based community pharmacist and pharmacy owner, has been promoted to the title of honorary captain in the Royal Navy.

Yardley's Lavender Sellers, 1925–1938

Yardley's Lavender Sellers, 1925–1938

Pharmacies have long sold non-medicinal products, as shown by this figurine advertising Yardley’s old English lavender.

Voting concept

Should RPS board members be restricted to serving two consecutive terms?

Mohammed Hussain and Sibby Buckle debate whether members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society English, Scottish and Welsh pharmacy boards should be limited to two consecutive three-year terms.

Welsh Assembly

Pharmacists and doctors launch resource to support multidisciplinary teams in general practice

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales and the Royal College of General Practitioners Wales have jointly published a resource designed to help multidisciplinary teams in general practice work better together.

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett: 'Good governance is essential in any organisation'


Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, explains the importance of, and rationale behind, proposed changes to the way the Society functions.

Alex Mackinnon

Alex MacKinnon and Aileen Bryson announce retirement from RPS

Alex MacKinnon and Aileen Bryson, director and deputy director respectively of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland, have announced that they are to retire from the Society.


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

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