My cyber-attack week

By Sibby Buckle, RPS English Pharmacy Board

What a week this has been!  On Friday 12 May 2017, IT systems in 47 NHS trusts in England and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland came under attack from a global malicious software attack. Here’s the latest from NHS Digital.

I work in a community pharmacy in Nottingham and first became aware of a problem when the systems of local GP surgeries and hospitals went down.  Over the weekend in the face of the cyber attack, our pharmacy and countless others continued to do what we always do, delivering fantastic patient care, giving advice and dispensing patients medicines in a timely, safe and efficient manner.

Returning to work on the Monday morning, I was bombarded with messages from my dispensing colleagues. The surgeries had been on the phone first thing to confirm that their systems were still down, and even their faxes weren’t working. Read more My cyber-attack week

How working with a GP practice pharmacist helps me and improves patient care: a community view

Reena Patelby Reena Patel, Watmans Pharmacy, London

About me
I have worked in community pharmacy since qualifying in 2010, when I have since been a locum. More recently, I’ve worked in a pharmacy situated inside a GP Practice for the last three years. I am currently studying for a clinical diploma in order to enhance my clinical skills and enable me to provide a better service to my patients.

My top 3 tips to get the most out of a newly appointed GP Pharmacist: Read more How working with a GP practice pharmacist helps me and improves patient care: a community view

Top tips from a practice pharmacist on working with community colleagues

Yaksheeta Dave Photo 2by Yaksheeta Dave, GP practice pharmacist, London.

About me
I registered as a pharmacist in 2003 and my background has been a mixture of community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and primary care. I started working as GP practice pharmacist prior to the NHS England pilot although the GP practice that I work in is currently part of the pilot.

I am the point of contact for local community pharmacies regarding any patient related or general queries that they may have. We have an on-site community pharmacy as well as approximately five community pharmacies locally that the majority of our patients use for pharmacy services.

My top 5 tips for a new GP pharmacist to make sure they get off to a great start with local community pharmacists: Read more Top tips from a practice pharmacist on working with community colleagues

Royal Pharmaceutical Society appoints new Chief Executive

cropped-RPS_primarystacked_RGB.jpgPharmacist Paul Bennett has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Paul will take up his post at the beginning of July 2017.

Paul joins the RPS from his position as Chief Officer of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee.  Prior to this, Paul was Professional Standards Director and Superintendent Pharmacist at Boots UK and brings a wealth of professional and commercial experience gained from both national and local pharmacy organisations alongside strong leadership credentials from business and from close working with NHS Commissioners of service and others. Read more Royal Pharmaceutical Society appoints new Chief Executive

RPS England responds to review of prescribing of certain products and medicines

Sandra Gidley 3by RPS England Chair Sandra Gidley

The NHS has traditionally provided treatment free at the point of use for both short term and life-long conditions.

Today, reporting shows this is being reconsidered.  This could be interpreted as an attack on this important principle.

Balanced against this view is the need for the NHS to be as cost effective as possible in a term of constrained resources. We understand the need for prioritisation. Read more RPS England responds to review of prescribing of certain products and medicines

RPS supports availability of sildenafil in pharmacies

Martin Astburyby RPS President Martin Astbury

The MHRA have today posted a consultation about the switch of sildenafil from a prescription only medicine to a pharmacy medicine, which means it must be sold under the supervision of a pharmacist.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society fully supports the application for sildenafil to move from prescription only (POM) to pharmacy medicine (P) status so it can be provided directly by pharmacists for erectile dysfunction (ED). Read more RPS supports availability of sildenafil in pharmacies

Robbery by means of chloroform

By Karen Horn, RPS Librarian and Matthew Johnston, RPS Museum

chloroform-bottleOver 200 people visited the Society over London Open House weekend this year.

They all took a look at the RPS Museum and its varied collection, which includes chloroform bottles from the 1940s.

There are lots of stories about the misuse of chloroform which persist up to the present day, some of which are pretty far-fetched. Read more Robbery by means of chloroform

Is ibuprofen bad for your health?

Helen Williams 2by Helen Williams, consultant pharmacist in cardiovascular medicine

A new BMJ study published today examines the effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen on the heart.  The study looked at 10 million people and found taking NSAIDs increased the risk of being taken to hospital with heart failure by 19%.   Sounds frightening doesn’t it?  And it led to some alarming headlines stories in the media. Read more Is ibuprofen bad for your health?

Branded, generic and identical medicines – how much should you pay?

jaynelawrenceby Professor Jayne Lawrence, RPS Chief Scientist

Increasingly the public are being encouraged by the Government to take greater responsibility for their own health. In particular, they are being prompted to manage any minor and self-limiting medical condition themselves, which may result in the purchase of an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine.

While it is well recognised that a generic version of a medicine is cheaper than the original branded product, the reasons behind a patient choosing the branded or generic version are complex – in addition to medicine cost, other factors such as advertising, brand loyalty, product packaging or a perception of higher quality can all play a part in the decision a patient makes when purchasing a medicine. Read more Branded, generic and identical medicines – how much should you pay?

Community Pharmacy Forward View

Sandra Gidley 3By Sandra Gidley, Chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board

You may know about the NHS Five Year Forward View, published in 2014, which outlined the future of the NHS in a world where people are living longer with complex health needs.

The Community Pharmacy Forward View, published today, aims to provide a sense of direction and vision for community pharmacy aligned with the ambitions of the NHS. Read more Community Pharmacy Forward View