The Prescription Prepayment Certificate can make your medicines more affordable

nealpatel2by Neal Patel MRPharmS, RPS Head of Corporate Communications

Ever heard of the Prescription Prepayment Certificate?

If you live in England, need medicines on a long-term basis and pay prescription charges, it could help make your medicines more affordable.

The Prescription Prepayment Certificate is like a season ticket for your medicines. You can get your medicines at a discount by either paying a lump sum upfront or monthly by direct debit. Read more The Prescription Prepayment Certificate can make your medicines more affordable

Expiry dates on medicines

nealpatel2by Neal Patel, MRPharmS and RPS Head of Corporate Communications

Are you one of those people who take no notice of expiry dates on food? Do you take a chance and eat it anyway after the expiry date as you’ve had no problems so far?

If you take the same approach with medicines you could find yourself in trouble. Medicines can become harmful or lose their effectiveness after their expiry date, so you may become ill or find you don’t get better as you should. The shelf-life of a medicine is determined by the breakdown of the active ingredients and they will all deteriorate at different rates. Read more Expiry dates on medicines

Medicines optimisation in England

Heidi Wright

by Heidi Wright, Practice and Policy Lead for RPS England.

Helping patients get the best out of their medicines is one of the most important things a pharmacist can do. Earlier this year the Royal Pharmaceutical Society published guidance for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals in England to help them do this. Read more Medicines optimisation in England

The pharmacy workforce: it’s more than just the numbers

david-banford(1)David Branford, English Pharmacy Board Chair

For most of my career there has been a shortage of pharmacists. Having a career that always provided a job has been a real luxury. It looks like that luxury is about to end. Read more The pharmacy workforce: it’s more than just the numbers

Driving under the influence of drugs

Ash_Soni_0411by Ash Soni, Vice-Chair, English Pharmacy Board

Driving under the influence of drugs is an offence.  If you think this just means illegal drugs such as cannabis or cocaine, you’d be wrong.  The law doesn’t distinguish between illegal drugs and prescription medicines for genuine illnesses.

The  government is consulting  on plans to introduce a new offence of driving with a drug in the body, above a certain limit, to tackle the issue of drug-driving. Read more Driving under the influence of drugs

New Life for Old Drugs

jaynelawrenceby Professor Jayne Lawrence, Chief Scientific Advisor, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

BBC News online is today reporting that existing drugs used for treatment of motor neurone disease, asthma and heart disease are being tested as possible treatments for advanced multiple sclerosis (MS).

Although not a new idea, the concept of ‘new life for old drugs’ is rapidly gaining currency.   As our understanding of how our bodies work, and how they are affected by disease processes, grows ever-more sophisticated, it is increasingly being realised that drugs have effects on more than one disease.  Read more New Life for Old Drugs

Summary care records – an essential for pharmacists

Ash_Soni_0411By Ash Soni, Vice-Chair, English Pharmacy Board

Access to patients’ summary care records is transforming the services I provide in my pharmacy. I can read and add to my patients records and I’d like all pharmacists to be able to do the same.

Thanks to a special arrangement with a GP surgery, I can see information about a patient’s medicines, their allergies, existing illnesses and any bad reactions to drugs they’ve had. The summary care record gives me the full picture of their needs and enables me to have informed conversations with my patients and others involved in their care. Read more Summary care records – an essential for pharmacists

Panic attacks and how they are treated

David Taylorby Professor David Taylor, Director of Pharmacy and Pathology, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Psychopharmacology at King’s College London.

Panic attacks are a frightening experience and can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.  They can be triggered by a specific situation or phobia.

During a panic attack people experience an overwhelming sense of fear along with physical symptoms such as a fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, sweating and trembling.  Most attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes.  Some people have attacks once or twice a month, while others have them several times a week. Read more Panic attacks and how they are treated

How your pharmacist can help prevent falls

annamarieBy Annamarie McGregor, Professional Support Pharmacist for the RPS in Scotland

This week is Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week (17th-21st June). Every year around 30 per cent of over 65s will fall; this increases to 50 per cent in those aged over 80. Falls can be a particular worry for older people and can cause a loss of mobility and confidence; for some the consequences can even be fatal. A lot can be done to prevent falls and this awareness week should also act as a reminder to the public that pharmacists can help reduce the risk of falls among older people. Read more How your pharmacist can help prevent falls