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The Pharmaceutical Journal

Infographic showing the history of sildenafil (Viagra)

Three decades of Viagra


Sildenafil (Viagra) — the first oral drug for erectile dysfunction to hit the market in 1998 — has been prescribed for more than 64 million men worldwide, and may soon be reclassified as a pharmacy medicine in the UK.

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Viagra pill

Reclassifying erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil as a P medicine not such a huge leapSubscription

Allowing pharmacists to sell sildenafil would offer men a convenient, safe, and perhaps less intimidating, channel for seeking professional advice and treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Polling station signage

What to consider when casting your vote for the 2017 UK general electionSubscription

We outline some of the issues pharmacists might like to consider before they cast their vote in the UK general election on 8 June 2017.


Price gauging

How drug prices are hiked and what is being done to tackle the problemSubscription

By ,

There has been negative publicity in the national press about drug manufacturers increasing the price of some medicines significantly: so called ‘price gouging’. These increased prices are then passed on to the NHS, and lead to headlines quoting multi-million pound figures.


hacking unlocked key ss 17

NHS cyber attack: views from the front lineSubscription


The Pharmaceutical Journal spoke to pharmacists to find out how the cyber attack of 12 May 2017 affected their service provision and what they did to manage the situation.

Andy Gray (left) and Hans Hogerzeil

Q&A: How to ensure access to essential medicines for those in low and middle-income countriesSubscription


Andy Gray and Hans Hogerzeil, co-chairs of the The Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines, discuss the analysis on the cost of providing essential medicines to people in low and middle-income countries.

Books and Arts

Cover of the book ‘Tender is the scalpel’s edge’, by Gautam Das

An NHS surgeon’s retrospective look at his careerSubscription


Tender is the scalpel’s edge, by Gautam Das.

Book cover of ‘The one minute workout’

Learn about high-intensity interval trainingSubscription


The one minute workout, by Martin Gibala

Learning article

Three and a half month-old baby receives DTP vaccination which protects infants from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)

Whooping cough: public health management and guidanceSubscription

By , ,

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious, acute bacterial infection. It can affect people of all ages, but is especially dangerous in vulnerable groups, such as unimmunised infants.

Close up of young woman holding elderly patient's hand

Facilitating anticipatory prescribing in end-of-life careSubscription


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.


Simon Harris, head of education and training at Green Light Campus, community pharmacist and preregistration training manager at Green Light Pharmacy

What I do as an education and training lead and tutorSubscription


Simon Harris describes his experience in developing and delivering a range of education programmes for pharmacy professionals, as well as the reasons why he became a tutor, and the benefits this has brought to his career.

Storefront showing pharmacy services

Setting up a pharmacy provider company to win tenders for new servicesSubscription


With public health bodies and clinical commissioning groups now seeking single organisations to manage local services, Steve Hemsley examines the benefits for community pharmacists and pharmacies when creating pharmacy provider companies to tender for new services, as well as the risks and challenges posed by this new approach. 

Dr Rania Hallaq, holistic assessment and rapid investigation (HARI) clinical pharmacist

What Rania Hallaq does as a holistic assessment and rapid investigation clinical pharmacist


The multidisciplinary holistic assessment and rapid investigation team assesses, investigates and treats referred patients with multiple complex medical and rehabilitation needs. Clinical pharmacist Rania Hallaq talks about the demands of running a clinic, problem-solving and managing complex patients.


angiogram of the heart

Heart attack risk raised in week after respiratory infection, say researchers

The risk of having a heart attack is 17 times higher in the week after a respiratory infection and remains high for a month, say Australian researchers.

Boots chemist member of Company Chemists' Association

Large pharmacy chains to set up 'crisis team' following cyber attack on NHS

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), a trade body that represents multiple pharmacy chains in the UK, is planning to set up a ‘crisis team’ in the wake of the malware attack that hit the NHS on 12 May 2017.

Shelves of patient records

ICO report warns pharmacies about data protection breaches

Losing confidential personal data when transferring patient records is one of the data protection breaches committed by community pharmacists, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office’s good practice department.

Interleukin 13 cytokine protein 3D illustration

AstraZeneca asthma drug fails in phase III trial

An experimental drug being tested as a treatment for severe asthma by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has failed to meet its primary endpoint of significantly reducing the annual rate of asthma exacerbations in the first of two phase III studies.

Ibuprofen packaging

NSAID heart attack risk apparent in first week of use

Analysis of data from nearly 450,000 patients reveals that celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen and rofecoxib all increased heart attack risk, with the greater risk of heart attack becoming apparent in the first week of treatment.

News in Brief

Older person's hand

Drugs for PTSD linked to increased risk of dementia

16 MAY 2017By

Certain psychotropic drugs used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increase the risk of developing dementia, including in patients who do not have PTSD but take the drugs for other conditions, study results published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society show.

Man drinking alcohol

Alcohol addiction drug may help treat stuttering

15 MAY 2017

A drug which faced controversy over its unlicensed use in treating alcohol addiction might also be useful in stuttering, researchers have found.

EpiPen product

Date-expired EpiPens still effective, study results show

12 MAY 2017

Researchers who analysed 40 date-expired EpiPens and EpiPen Juniors have discovered that they were still effective beyond the stated expiry date.

European Medicines Agency building

EMA tells drug companies to make sure licences are valid in light of Brexit

12 MAY 2017

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission (EC) has issued a notice to drug companies reminding them of their legal duties regarding any medicines that have been approved centrally in light of the UK leaving the EU.

Hospital ward round taking place

Pilot study results support feasibility of pharmacy technician-supported medicine administration

9 MAY 2017

Results from a pilot study of pharmacy-supported medicines administration on hospital wards have revealed that the practice did not lead to a reduction in the number of omitted doses. 


GPhC standards for pharmacy professionals come into force on 12 May 2017

5 MAY 2017

The General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) new standards for pharmacy professionals will come into effect on 12 May 2017.

Drugs commonly marketed

Restricting drug representative visits cuts prescribing of promoted drugs by doctors

4 MAY 2017

Restricting pharmaceutical company representatives from directly promoting their products to doctors reduces prescription of those products, a US study has found.

FDA entrance

FDA approves new treatment for young children with Batten disease

2 MAY 2017

The first drug of its kind to be made available in the United States for children with a specific form of the inherited disorder, Batten disease, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Pharmaceutical Journal

May 2017, Vol 298, No 7901

Cover Story:

Reclassifying erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil as a pharmacy medicine would not be such a huge leap

Read more…

The Pharmaceutical Journal

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Your RPS

Group picture of the Welsh Pharmacy Board

Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting: 3 May 2017 Subscription

At the Welsh Pharmacy Board’s second meeting of 2017, members discussed the value of consultation responses and RPS campaigns, and changes to models of local engagement.

Group picture of the Scottish Pharmacy Board and guests

Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting: 26 April 2017Subscription

At the second quarterly meeting of the Scottish Pharmacy Board members discussed antimicrobial stewardship, new ‘cross-sector’ vocational training for community pharmacists, and heard from representatives of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association.

Members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board during a previous meeting held in April 2016

English Pharmacy Board meeting: 5 April 2017 Subscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board’s second quarterly open meeting of 2017 was held at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham on 5 April 2017.

Streak test on petri dish to test for antimicrobial resistance

Pharmacist independent prescribers can make a significant contribution to antimicrobial stewardshipSubscription

By Karen Hodson, Rhian Deslandes, Molly Courtenay

Karen Hodson, member of the Welsh Pharmacy Board, and colleagues discuss their experiences of how pharmacist prescribers can help in antimicrobial stewardship.


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

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