The authors of this book (published by Pharmaceutical Press, Royal Pharmaceutical Society) aim to provide the users with a range of tools, suggestions and advice to assist in the provision of pharmaceutical care. It aims to complement existing reference sources such as the British National Formulary.
The book can be described as having three main functions: an aide-mÃ©moire to resolve routine queries; a prompt to seek further information; and a means to record personal information by utilising blank spaces provided at the end of each entry and section.
As an aide-mÃ©moire, information – not easily found in other reference sources – is brought together in one text. Routine queries arising from the management of patients with a variety of medical conditions can be easily processed.
The contributors to this book are mainly pharmacists but also include a dietician and a clinical psychologist. All are experts in their own areas of practice.
The diverse topics are laid out alphabetically. As an example, the section on lactose-free medicines is immediately followed by learning disability, LipidRescue, lithium, liver disease, liver function tests and low-molecular-weight heparin. A contents page at the beginning of each alphabetical section would be helpful. However, there is a full index at the end of the book. Although the topics are not presented in a standard format, each is well written and provides valuable information and relevant references.
In a book of this nature, with such a diverse range of topics, it is difficult to cover every aspect of clinical pharmacy. Perhaps the next edition may include such topics as personalised medicine and the use of biosimilars.
This book will be useful to any person delivering a clinical pharmacy service, either in a primary or secondary healthcare environment. It provides information on obscure problems, as well as routine queries. Some topics, by their very nature, lend themselves more to the hospital setting but community pharmacists will find that the book has immense value in supporting their clinical activities, particularly when offering post-hospital discharge pharmaceutical care.
Laurence A. Goldberg
‘Clinical pharmacy pocket companion 2nd edition’, by Alistair Howard Gray, Jane Wright, Lynn Bruce and Jennifer Oakley. Pp xxiii+542. Price £29.99. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2016. ISBN 978 0 85711 157 9