Eat or treat illustration

Eat or treat? How cuts to minor ailment schemes could hit patients hardSubscription


Commissioners have saved millions of pounds by decommissioning a fifth of minor ailment schemes and restricting sales of over-the-counter medicines, but pharmacists are concerned that vulnerable patients may not be being protected.

Ambulances queuing outside UK hospital

NHS looks to pharmacy as it faces a tough winterSubscription


As winter demands on the NHS rise, pharmacists are being reallocated to offer ward-based prescribing and seven-day pharmacy services to relieve the pressure. 

  • Image of a shut down shop front and shadows of two men dealing drugs

    Have legislative changes curbed use of ‘legal highs’?Subscription

    While the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 appears to have controlled circulation of novel psychoactive substances, formerly known as ‘legal highs’, on the high street, a Home Office review has proved what many experts predicted — that the legislation would drive sales onto the streets and the dark web.

  • students studying for an exam

    Why are pharmacy schools struggling to fill places?Subscription

    A decline in the number of applications to pharmacy schools and more students being accepted through clearing has led to concerns over the future pharmacy workforce.

  • Viagra pill with recycling logo

    Repurposing Viagra: the ‘little blue pill’ for all ills?Subscription

    Study results suggest that PDE-5 inhibitors could have a role in treating cancer, heart failure, neurodegenerative diseases, circulatory disorders and even infectious diseases, but the road to approval for new indications may not be smooth.

  • 2 plates with different amounts of pills

    Deprescribing: the fightback against polypharmacy has begunSubscription

    Polypharmacy among older people is at an all-time high, prompting a necessary focus on withdrawing inappropriate medicines. However, evidence-based guidelines are needed to overcome barriers to deprescribing.

  • Illustration of hands holding an iPad with a padlock chain across

    Why are few pharmacies using the summary care record?Subscription

    Lack of time and not being able to access the required information means that many community pharmacists in England are not using abbreviated patient records online.

  • 2 beakers with different levels of diluted liquid

    Tipping the scales: the problem of drug dosing in obese patientsSubscription

    As obesity levels rise, pharmacists are finding they need new tools to ensure they adequately tailor the amount of medicine patients receive.

  • Illustration of a head with psychedelic colours

    'Like a hug from everyone who loves you' — how MDMA could help patients with traumaSubscription

    When combined with intensive psychotherapy sessions, MDMA — commonly known as ecstasy — has elicited impressive results in phase II trials and a global phase III study is just beginning.

  • Pre-filled syringe of Humira (Adalimumab)

    Ten things pharmacists should know about biologics and biosimilarsSubscription

    As healthcare professionals prepare for blockbuster biologic Humira to come off patent on 16 October 2018, we highlight what pharmacists need to know about switching from originator biologics to biosimilars in order to get the best value from these medicines.

  • Winter 2018 is shaping up to be a difficult flu season

    Why the 2018 flu season could be a major challenge for pharmacySubscription

    Despite the success pharmacy had in 2017 with offering influenza vaccination to people across the UK, winter 2018 is shaping up to be a difficult season, with different vaccines for different groups, staggered deliveries until December and guidance that makes patient prioritisation a problem.

  • 2018 02 28   Kevin Cash Tattoos JDN 8787 NH

    Body bionics: how the next generation of biosensors could revolutionise drug deliverySubscription

    Smaller, smarter and more sensitive — how four new technologies could change the way drugs are monitored and administered.

  • Concept image of the components that make up drug development

    Are patients the missing piece in the drug development puzzle?Subscription

    Pharmaceutical companies are beginning to appreciate that involving patients in the drug development life cycle could save them millions of pounds. But are companies being brave enough when it comes to ‘patient centricity’?

  • Drugs production

    Stockpiles, shortages and supply chains: what a no-deal Brexit might mean for pharmacySubscription

    Fears of a no-deal Brexit impacting the UK’s drugs supply have been growing for some time, since the then health and social care secretary, Jeremy Hunt, admitted in January 2018 that the supply of some cancer drugs could be disrupted if the UK leaves the EU at the end of March 2019 with no agreement on a future relationship in place.

  • Biosimilars, humira, adalimumab

    Preparing for the big biologic switch

    With blockbuster biologic adalimumab coming off patent in October 2018, pharmacists should be ready to switch patients to the best-value biologic as alternatives become available.

  • Online smartphone, telehealth concept

    Web therapy: how pharmacists are leading the way on telehealthSubscription

    A solution developed to deliver clinical pharmacy services to remote dispensing GP practices in Scotland is being used as a model to expand telehealth services across the rest of NHS Highland. 

  • Cannabis leaf illustration

    Medical cannabis: what will pharmacy's role be?Subscription

    How the UK has realised the benefits of medical cannabis and the involvement pharmacists could have in its supply.

  • Insomnia concept, bus stop

    Putting insomnia to bedSubscription

    An estimated 30–50% of the population will experience insomnia symptoms at some point in their lives and, in the UK, insomnia rates steadily rise with age. With a 2% increase in sales of over-the-counter sleep aids during 2017, pharmacists are seeing more patients with insomnia symptoms. Here we discuss the health implications of not getting enough sleep and what can be done to help people drift off.

  • Pharmacy waste disposal

    Should pharmacists be allowed to reuse medicines?Subscription

    Medicines reuse schemes successfully operate in the United States and Greece, reducing medicines waste and environmental pollution, as well as saving money and providing drugs to thousands of people who could not otherwise afford them. Is there a demand for such a scheme in the UK, and would it be feasible?

  • Hospital pharmacy store room

    How precarious antibiotic supplies are putting patients at riskSubscription

    The antibiotic supply chain is “at risk of collapsing”, which could lead to major problems treating serious infections and add to resistance levels.

  • Online pharmacy concept

    Is it worth all community pharmacies having an online presence?Subscription

    With multiples tackling the threat of online retailers head on, should smaller chains and independents try to compete with the big boys?

  • Illustration of MRSA cells

    The global race to combat antimicrobial resistanceSubscription

    The Longitude Prize has relaunched after 300 years and this time teams around the world are racing to develop a rapid point-of-care diagnostic test that will help prevent the overuse of antibiotics and put them in the running to win £8m.

  • Bridge

    Bridging the gap: CPOs back foundation training planSubscription

    A post-registration foundation programme would offer support to newly qualified pharmacists and prepare them for their evolving roles, but it is unclear how a uniform system could be established across the UK.

  • Montage of RNAI illustration and scientists in research lab

    RNA interference therapies could be on the cusp of successSubscription

    This new way of modifying problematic gene expression has had a rocky start — but things are looking up.

  • Image of google search engine

    Health anxiety: currently trendingSubscription

    Do pharmacists have a role in reducing the side effects of ‘Dr Google’?

  • Pills, pharmaceutical manufacturing company

    ‘It went berserk’: Generic medicines chaos hits pharmacies hardSubscription

    The prices of generic medicines are rising, caused by action by regulators and a decrease in the value of sterling following uncertainties about Brexit, leaving pharmacies out of pocket.

  • Opium poppy historical illustration

    Pain relief: designing better opioids

    While opioids are powerful painkillers, they come with dangerous side effects and carry a sometimes fatal risk of addiction. However, new, safer opioids are being developed using a variety of innovative strategies to maximise analgesic properties, while reducing the burden of side effects.

  • Immunotherapy research in diabetes concept

    Immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes: what’s in the pipeline?

    For many autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, drugs that work by targeting components of the immune system are providing relief for millions of patients. However, there is no immunotherapy currently licensed for type 1 diabetes, and the reasons for this are multifold. A number of research groups and pharmaceutical companies are focusing on various aspects of the immune system to try to develop an effective immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes.

  • Opposing faces, good versus bad, nocebo effect illustration

    Nocebo: the placebo effect’s evil twin Subscription

    The little-known nocebo effect, where negative expectations about treatment lead to side effects, can have a huge impact on clinical outcomes. It is important that healthcare professionals are aware of the nocebo effect and talk to patients about their medicines in a balanced way so as to try to minimise it.

  • Independent prescriber concept

    The trials and triumphs of pharmacist independent prescribersSubscription

    Pharmacist independent prescribing was introduced in 2006 but, to date, only 11% of pharmacists have qualified — and those who have do not always have the opportunity to prescribe. Some barriers to prescribing are common across all sectors, but community pharmacists face particular challenges in terms of access to records and lack of time.

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