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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 medicines


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

William Charman (top left), Stewart Adams (bottom left), David Taylor (top right) and Sam Salek (bottom right)

Four new RPS Honorary Fellowships awardedSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has awarded four new Honorary Fellowships.

veterinary practice dog broken leg

Veterinary Pharmacy Association launchedSubscription

A new association dedicated to veterinary pharmacy has been launched.

Bryony Dean Franklin, professor of medication safety at UCL School of Pharmacy

Pharmacy Research UK research grant awards revealedSubscription

Pharmacy Research UK, a charity that funds pharmaceutical research to improve healthcare, has announced details of their first two project grant recipients for 2017.

gino martini cr klc 17

RPS Winter Summit to focus on science and innovationSubscription

Artificial intelligence and big data may not traditionally be associated with pharmacy, but these are just two of the innovations up for discussion at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s inaugural Winter Summit.

Hospital pharmacist speaks to pharmacy technician

New Ultimate Guide for chief pharmacists and their equivalentsSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has released a new Ultimate Guide for chief pharmacists and their equivalents.

Howard Rice receives the Distinguished Service Award from FIP president Carmen Pena

Howard Rice MRPharmS receives FIP’s Distinguished Service AwardSubscription

Howard Rice, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), has received the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s (FIP) Distinguished Service Award.

Rose Marie Parr

Rose Marie Parr to speak at Scottish National SeminarSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland has confirmed that Rose Marie Parr, Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer, will speak at this year’s Scottish National Seminar.

The collection put together by the apothecary John Burges (1745-1807) includes (from left) bees, sea skinks, red coral, viper, seahorses, toads and scorpions

Animal magic — the Burges collection of materia medicaSubscription

The Burges collection was put together by the apothecary John Burges and contains more than 1,000 specimens.

gerard water lily 1

Gonorrhoea and antibiotics — past, present and futureSubscription

By John Betts

The problem of dwindling treatment options for gonorrhoea is complicated because there are very few new antibiotics in development. Stewardship of our remaining antibiotic resources is now more urgent than ever.

Pharmacist talking to patient

RPS releases new Responsible Pharmacist ToolkitSubscription

A new Responsible Pharmacist Toolkit has been released by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

award winner 2017 gillian hawksworth

Pharmacist ambassadors feted at RPS Awards 2017Subscription

Gillian Hawksworth, former president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and chair of the Panel of Fellows, has received the Society’s Lifetime Achievement award.

Left to right, Christopher John, Cathy Picton, Ruth Wakeman

RPS members urged to support development of Society's guidance and standardsSubscription

Members have until 11 September 2017 to respond to the draft ’Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy Services’, and can do so through the RPS website.

RPS publishes new policy on pharmacy's contribution to antimicrobial stewardship Subscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published a new policy on antimicrobial stewardship (AMS).

New Quick Reference Guide to antimicrobial stewardship Subscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published a new quick reference guide (QRG) to antimicrobial stewardship.

valproate vid aug 17

New video explains the risks of valproate in female patientsSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has worked with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners to produce a short video about the risks of valproate, a medicine prescribed for epilepsy and bipolar disorder. The video is aimed at GPs, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals and gives an overview of the latest MHRA guidance on discussing the medication with patients.

Beware of illegal online pharmacies when buying prescription-only medicineSubscription

19 August 2017: Following news that Anthony McPartlin, half of TV duo Ant & Dec, has recently resolved his addiction to opioid painkillers, The Sun explored the growing phenomenon of addiction to opioid prescription drugs. Their article included a comment from Neal Patel, spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, who warned readers not to resort to buying such painkillers on the internet: “There is potentially a huge risk associated with buying prescription medicine ...

Mahendra Patel develops new SIGN champions programme

Mahendra Patel develops new SIGN champions programmeSubscription


Students and foundation-level professionals in Scotland are invited to become peer champions for the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network.

RPS developing new guidance on polypharmacy

RPS developing new guidance on polypharmacySubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has set up an independent multidisciplinary steering group to develop new guidance on polypharmacy, it has announced.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society logo

Member views sought: NHS England proposals to restrict 'low priority' prescriptionsSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is seeking members’ views on NHS England’s ongoing consultation, ‘Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care’.

Rob Duncombe, director of pharmacy at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Hospital Expert Advisory Group

Q&A: Rob Duncombe, chair of the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group Subscription

Rob Duncombe, director of pharmacy at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Hospital Expert Advisory Group, discusses the group’s activities and the diversity of hospital pharmacy.


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

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