The fascinating relationship between pharmacy and smoking

By John Betts, Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum Officer

Given the scientific knowledge we now have about the harmful effects of smoking on health it seems unbelievable that in the past medical professionals viewed smoking as an effective and legitimate medicinal treatment. One of my father’s aunts, who regularly suffered from coughs and sore throats, was told by her doctor in the 1930s to take up smoking to toughen up her throat!

The fascinating, and at times contradictory, relationship between pharmacy and smoking inspired me to curate new Developing Treatments exhibition ‘Going Up in Smoke’ – Smoking and Pharmacy. Read more The fascinating relationship between pharmacy and smoking

How community pharmacists help with the early detection of bowel cancer

By Howard Duff, RPS Director for England

The UK’s cancer survival rates lag behind those of Europe.  One reason for this is that patients often present when their cancer is quite advanced, meaning their treatment options are more limited and their lives shortened as a result.  Detecting cancer earlier is essential to the one in three of us who will develop the disease during our lifetime.

Many individuals in the early stages of cancer self-medicate because they do not recognise their symptoms as important.

We think that pharmacists can do much more to help patients recognise the importance of early detection and encourage them to take action when they have symptoms that may be of concern. Over 80% of pharmacies now have private areas where you can have a chat without being overheard, meaning more and more people feel they can seek advice and questions about their health from their pharmacist.  Read more How community pharmacists help with the early detection of bowel cancer

Campaign to combat medicine waste in Wales

By Jonathan Simms, Clinical Director of Pharmacy, Aneurin Bevan Health Board

Aneurin Bevan Health Board launched a campaign at the end of January this year as part of an initiative to raise awareness of medicine waste, how medicines are wasted and the part that patients and the public can play in helping to reduce this waste.

Medicines play an important part in promoting well-being, preventing ill-health and managing disease.  However, few of us think about the medicines that we waste, how they are disposed of, or how much they cost. Read more Campaign to combat medicine waste in Wales