Stop the over medication of people with learning disabilities

david-banford(1)By David Branford, Chief Pharmacist, Derby Hospital

The nation was shocked by the Panorama expose of cruel behaviour to people with a learning disability living at Winterbourne View in Bristol. The subsequent enquiry not only raised many concerns about the care of people with a learning disability but also about the use of antipsychotics and antidepressants.

Subsequent investigations and actions took two paths. The first, a series of studies demonstrated widespread use of many categories of psychotropic drugs often in combinations. In addition there was widespread use of PRN psychotropic drugs. The second was NICE guidelines relating to aspects of treatment of people with a learning disability.
Stopping Over-medication of People with Learning Disabilities (STOMPLD) 2016 is a campaign launched by Alistair Burt today. It aims to improve the quality of life of people with a learning disability, by reducing the harm of inappropriate psychotropic drugs which are used as a “chemical restraint” in place of other more appropriate care and treatments. Read more Stop the over medication of people with learning disabilities

My Faculty Journey

JOnathan Burtonby Jonathan Burton

I guess I had several motivations for wanting to join the RPS Faculty. I liked the idea of gaining some recognition for being committed to my job, always trying to do things better and taking a real interest in my profession. I also thought it would be a useful process in terms of helping me identify my weak areas of practice, I’m a contractor as well as a patient facing pharmacist so I find it quite difficult to access peer review, I’ve always sort of made up my professional development as I’ve gone along! Read more My Faculty Journey

Become a dementia friend

dementiafriendsBy Thomas Banning, Locum Pharmacist, Brecon

Dementia is a growing problem in our ageing population. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 25 million of the UK population have a close friend or family member with dementia.

Dementia Awareness Week gives us a chance to reflect on what we can do to support our friends, families, and colleagues with this condition. In my opinion, it is particularly important that pharmacists, like myself, and other health professionals, who come into daily contact with older people, understand what patients with dementia experience on a daily basis. Read more Become a dementia friend

Why asthma still kills

Anna MurphyBy Professor Anna Murphy, Consultant Respiratory Pharmacist

Every year approximately 1400 people die from asthma in the UK, more than the number of deaths from asthma in Austria, Finland, Sweden, Poland and Portugal combined.

 Approximately 5.6 million people live with asthma in UK. Asthma symptoms and exacerbations have shown to impact significantly on people’s quality of life and activities of daily living affecting sleep and the ability to go to work or school or exercise.  Those with more severe disease live with the uncertainty of unplanned emergency visits to their GPs or hospital and for some a fear of death. Read more Why asthma still kills

Prescription charges are causing medicines poverty

nealpatel2By Neal Patel, Head of Communications, RPS

The Government announced today that prescription charges in England will rise from £7.85 to £8.05 on 1st April.

Prescription charges have risen for 34 of the past 35 years.  Research consistently shows 1 in 3 people who work and have a long-term condition struggle to afford their medicines.  Many have to choose between paying for their medicine or household bills such as food and heating.  They face medicines poverty because they have a lifelong illness they don’t want.  How can this be fair?  And what can be done about it? Read more Prescription charges are causing medicines poverty

Current EU rules restrict access to new, potentially life-saving cancer treatments in children

IMG_0636by Jackie Turner, Macmillan Principal Pharmacist Oncology & Haematology

Around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year.

But is there enough paediatric research to allow more testing of potentially life-saving cancer drugs?  

Currently, the EU Regulations allow pharmaceutical companies to opt out of children’s trials if a new drug is intended for an adult cancer that does not occur in children.

What does this mean? Read more Current EU rules restrict access to new, potentially life-saving cancer treatments in children

Dispensing doctors and pharmacists working side-by-side

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Aileen Bryson, Policy and Practice Lead, RPS Scotland

The viability of dispensing doctor practices and the threat of pharmacy applications has been all over the media recently and yesterday BBC Radio Scotland reported from Aberfoyle, interviewing the local practice and the prospective pharmacy owner. They then came to us for our views on the whole situation. It was interesting that one rather well know resident seemed to be of the opinion that a ‘real doctor ‘giving them their medicines was preferable to a ‘chemist ‘. Read more Dispensing doctors and pharmacists working side-by-side

Swap Fags for Swag on No Smoking Day

Hasanin Khachi, Lead Respiratory Pharmacist – Barts Health NHS Trust

The countdown is on and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society are pleased to announce their support for the 30th annual No Smoking Day campaign, run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The theme of this milestone year urges smokers to consider the financial benefits of quitting and ‘swap fags for swag’, on Wednesday 13 March, 2013. Read more Swap Fags for Swag on No Smoking Day

Hungry enough to eat a horse?

By Rachel Airley, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology

As the horse meat saga refuses to go away just yet, the most pressing concern for pharmacy has been whether a pain relieving and anti-inflammatory medicine used routinely in horses might have found its way into our burgers and lasagne meals. Phenylbutazone, or “Bute”, was introduced in 1949 for the treatment of painful inflammation such as that caused by conditions such as gout and arthritis.  The drug was subsequently banned in humans due to there being a small chance of dangerous side effects. 

Read more Hungry enough to eat a horse?

Make the most of your asthma inhaler

By Anna Murphy, Consultant Pharmacist for Respiratory Conditions

Approximately 5.2 million in the UK suffer from asthma, and many of these treat their asthma with medicine delivered through an inhaler. Inhalers are disposable devices, and most inhaler users use many throughout the year. You can imagine how many inhalers are thrown away in a year.

Read more Make the most of your asthma inhaler