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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, cabinet secretary for health, well-being and sport

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 accreditationSubscription

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

John Betts, keeper of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) museum

Q&A: John Betts, keeper of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society museumSubscription

John Betts, keeper of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) museum since 2010, speaks to Corrinne Burns about the latest activities of the museum team — including a new app, free to download now from the iTunes store.

Some participants of the whywedoresearch #WhyWeDoResearch Tweetfest 2017

#WhyWeDoResearch Tweetchat explores how research improves patient careSubscription

The first session of the #WhyWeDoResearch Tweetfest 2017, curated by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK) and WePharmacists, discussed “Research and evidence in pharmacy: engaging to improve patient care”.

Close up of woman using oxygen tubes in nose

RPS endorses new guidelines on emergency oxygen useSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has endorsed new British Thoracic Society guidelines on the use of emergency oxygen, which is prescribed to treat hypoxaemia. The ...

'Ask the Pharmacist': RPS member part of expert panel on new Daily Mail advice columnSubscription

23 May 2017: The Daily Mail has introduced a new weekly ‘Ask the Pharmacist’ column, in collaboration with LloydsPharmacy. In his first column, Colin Dougall — a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) — responded to a query about medicines storage.

Screengrab of the RPS election candidates hustings webinar

RPS Elections 2017: Candidates face questions in hustings webinarSubscription

Thirteen candidates for this year’s English and Scottish Pharmacy Board elections took part in a hustings webinar hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on the evening of 16 May 2017.


New RPS 'Here For You' initiative celebrates the relationship between pharmacists and their patientsSubscription

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has launched an initiative aimed at inspiring pharmacists and imbuing them with “a feeling of pride and satisfaction for the service they provide to patients on a daily basis”.

Partnership, handshake

Why pharmacists need advanced practice specialist residences: the UK–Australia storySubscription

By , Ian Bates, Michael Dooley, Ian Coombes, Kristin Michaels

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has signed a partnership agreement with the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia, a national professional membership body in Australia representing over 4,500 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in training working in Australia’s hospitals and other clinical healthcare settings.

Delegates at the second annual conference of the Humanitarian Aid and Response Network (HARN)

Cold chains and cool heads: why humanitarian aid needs pharmacistsSubscription

The second annual conference of the Humanitarian Aid and Response Network (HARN), held in Brighton on 8 April 2017, brought together humanitarian pharmacists and pharmacy students with a shared interest in international aid work.

Mahendra Patel, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and a member of the English Pharmacy Board

Mahendra Patel launches 'givaPound' fundraising campaign Subscription

Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and member of the English Pharmacy Board launches a charitable campaign to raise money for four different charities.

NSAIDS and risk of heart attackSubscription

10 May 2017: Sotiris Antoniou, spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) on cardiovascular medicine, spoke to the Daily Express about the link between NSAIDs and the risk of heart attack. The article was published ...

RPS concern over melatonin to prevent jet lag Subscription

8 May 2017: The Daily Mail published a feature in which 21 doctors were asked which medications they take with them on holiday. One doctor advocated the use of melatonin for prevention of jet lag.

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

Members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board gathered at the University of Nottingham for their second quarterly meeting on 5 April 2017. Pharmacy in NHS 111, new models of local engagement and promotion of the Society’s campaigns were on the agenda.

headshot Sandra Gidley chair English Pharmacy Board

Community pharmacy cuts: RPS England responds to High Court dismissal of judicial reviews Subscription

The chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board has responded to a decision by the High Court to uphold £320 million in government cuts to the pharmacy sector.

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.

Heroin user injecting their arm

Fentanyl-contaminated heroin: healthcare professionals alerted to risk of fatal overdose Subscription

Public Health England has asked those who may be in contact with heroin users to be aware of the increased risk from ‘cut’ supplies of heroin.

reclassifications hub royal pharmaceutical society website 17

New RPS 'reclassifications hub' offers guidance on supply of P medicines

An online hub giving guidance to pharmacists who sell or supply medicines that have been reclassified from prescription-only medicine (POM) to pharmacy (P) status has been launched by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

RPS 'general election toolkit'

RPS launches 'general election toolkit' for English candidatesSubscription

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society The RPS’ four-page booklet highlights the expertise of pharmacists across all healthcare sectors and asks candidates to sign a pledge to support pharmacy.

Voting opens for the RPS National Pharmacy Board elections 2017Subscription

Voting for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English and Scottish Pharmacy Board elections 2017 is now open. 


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

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