Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

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

View previous issue

Your RPS

Ash Soon, newly re-elected president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

Ash Soni returns to RPS presidencySubscription

Community pharmacist Ash Soni has again been elected as president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Alasdair Angus Macintyre, Deborah Alice Stafford and Jonathan Burton

Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting: 14 June 2017Subscription

The Scottish Pharmacy Board held its third meeting of the year in June 2017, at Holyrood Park House, Edinburgh. Improving the pharmaceutical care of people in care homes, patient consent and how to increase the number of nominations for Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society were the topics of debate.

high quality cannabis plant

Medicinal use of cannabis: RPS seeks pharmacists' viewsSubscription

A new survey into pharmacists’ views on the medicinal use of cannabis has been launched by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Creamware advertising model for Bears Grease, Staffordshire, 1799–1818

Bear fat: pharmacy's first leave-in conditionerSubscription

Bear’s grease became a popular hair-restoring pomade during the second half of the 1700s, when the wearing of wigs fell out of fashion.

ash soni landscape 16

Ash Soni elected president of Royal Pharmaceutical Society Subscription

Ash Soni has been elected as the new president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in an RPS Assembly meeting held at the Society’s London headquarters on 18 July 2017.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society logo

RPS and Association of Pharmacy Technicians have 'shared purpose'Subscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK “have a shared purpose”, chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board told delegates at the APTUK 2017 conference in Cardiff on 2 July 2017.

Suzanne Scott-Thomas, Chair, Welsh Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting: 20 June 2017Subscription

RPS Wales is to join the Welsh Government group drawing up the national dementia strategy and has been invited to give oral evidence on the use of anti-psychotic medication in care homes. The RPS in Wales continues to promote the full integration of pharmacy into all care models.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) stacked logo

RPS annual general meeting 2017: welcome to Paul Bennett and news from the boardsSubscription

Speaking at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s 2017 annual general meeting, new chief executive Paul Bennett highlighted the need for pharmacists to have a “strong leadership organisation that can stand up and say difficult things”.

Despite low risk of blood clots, contraceptive pill is generally 'extremely safe'Subscription

15 July 2017: The Daily Mail reported the death of a young woman from blood clots on the lung, who was taking the contraceptive pill. Jane Bass, spokesperson at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and senior pharmacist specialising in women’s health, said: “It’s known that taking the pill can increase your risk of having a blood clot, but given the number of women who take them and the years over which they have been collected, it is very low risk. In general it is extremely safe.”

Public health budgets should not be cutSubscription

13 July 2017: The Independent reported on a new analysis by the King’s Fund, which claims that £85m of local authority public health budget public health will be cut this year. The article focused particularly on the effect on drug misuse services. Neal Patel, spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “This is a population who need specific support and community pharmacies have been helping them for years. We’ve seen improvements, and what we don’t want to do ...

Members of the English Pharmacy Board during the June 2017 meeting

English Pharmacy Board meeting: 22 June 2017Subscription

Members of the English Pharmacy Board got together at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society London headquarters for the third  meeting of 2017, which took place on 22 June 2017.

Survey now open: how do pharmacists support antimicrobial stewardship? Subscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is seeking real-world examples of how pharmacists are supporting antimicrobial stewardship.

Close up of hand ticking the new BNF and BNFC app on a tablet

New BNF and BNF for Children app launchedSubscription

A new British National Formulary (BNF) and BNF for Children app is now available to download. The app supersedes previous versions and is designed to make it easier for UK NHS healthcare professionals to access the medicines information of the BNF at their point of need.

Piperacillin-tazobactam shortage 'serious', says RPS spokesperson Subscription

2 July 2017: Philip Howard, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) spokesman on antimicrobial resistance, gave a comment to The Observer about the shortage of piperacillin-tazobactam, a combination antibiotic widely used in hospitals. “This is one of the more serious shortages we’ve had to face,” Howard said, although he added that there were enough supplies of other drugs for patients to get the treatment they needed. He also warned that “we need to ensure that we use a broader ...

Prescription fines doubled in last year: RPS says 'more constructive approach' neededSubscription

5 July 2017: Robbie Turner, director for England at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, featured on 12 BBC local radio interviews discussing the issue of fining patients who have not renewed their medical exemption certificates. The NHS Business Services Authority have doubled the number of fines over the past year from 494,129 in 2015–16 to 979,210 fines in 2016–17. Turner said: “It’s easy for patients to forget to renew their certificate but fining people seems unfair. The Government ...

Royal Pharmaceutical Society logo

RPS campaign highlights Summary Care Record support on offer to membersSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Socety is launching a social media campaign to help pharmacists better understand how to use the summary care record.

Working people struggle to afford multiple prescriptionsSubscription

29 June 2017: Neal Patel, spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, spoke to BBC Radio Leeds about a new report from the Prescription Charges Coalition, which says one in three people of working age have not collected a prescription because of cost. “Pharmacists have difficult conversations with people who come with three or four items on a prescription and ask ‘Which one of these is the least important?’ as they can’t afford them all,” Patel told listeners. “We think that ...

Children prescribed antidepressants where there is support from 'robust clinical trials', says RPS spokespersonSubscription

18 June 2017: Professor David Taylor, RPS spokesperson on mental health from the Maudsley Hospital in London commented to The Guardian about the use of antidepressants in children: “Antidepressants are only used in children ...

Paul Bennett new chief executive Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Q&A with Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical SocietySubscription

Paul Bennett took up his new role as chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on 3 July. He joins the RPS from his position as chief officer of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee. He was previously professional standards director and superintendent pharmacist at Boots UK.

Screengrab of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the RPS website

Essential guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Subscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published an Essential Guide on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May 2018.


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

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.