Putting Medicines Safety First in Wales

26.06.14 Royal Pharmaceutical SocietyRob Davies, member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Welsh Pharmacy Board reflects on the 2015 Medicines Safety Conference and the benefits of attending this year’s forthcoming event.

As a pharmacist and independent prescriber, medicines safety is an issue close to my heart. It is our pre-occupation as a profession, ensuring medicines are appropriate for the patient, are taken safely and as intended. I was excited therefore to attend the RPS Wales annual Medicines Safety Conference last year to hear about strategic plans for Wales and to learn more from practice examples. Read more Putting Medicines Safety First in Wales

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?

Improving Your Soft Skills

Faye PicBy Faye Morley, University of Birmingham.

Over the past three years at university I have worked hard to change from a painfully shy person into one who is frequently described as confident. I even find myself offering to present in front of large crowds without so much as a second thought.
This article will give you some tips to make this development yourselves, just bear in mind that the majority of soft skills will come naturally with gaining confidence.

Read more Improving Your Soft Skills

People with dementia in care homes need pharmacist-led medicine reviews

Laurance Thraves Alzheimers Societyby Laurence Thraves, Senior Policy Officer, Alzheimer’s Society

70 per cent of people with dementia have one or more other long-term health condition. As GPs and other medical professional try to treat these conditions, people with dementia can end up on a cocktail of drugs that exacerbate their symptoms. Using their specialist skills, pharmacists can play a vital role in improving how medicines are used in care homes and, as a result, the quality of life for the 280,000 people with dementia living there. Read more People with dementia in care homes need pharmacist-led medicine reviews

Buying medicines online, false claims and real risks

nealpatel2By Neal Patel,MRPharmS

The most recent tragic death from taking the chemical DNP in order to lose weight has highlighted yet again the risks of buying online from unregulated websites.

Criminals are involved in this illegal supply, providing you with chemicals like DNP, which they promote as a slimming aid.  It’s actually a pesticide and unfit for human consumption.

Websites may offer to provide you with prescription medicines without a prescription, but when we have tested these products they either contain nothing at all or substances that can serious harm your health.  Those running these websites don’t care about your health, they only care about getting your cash, and there’s no recourse if things go wrong. Read more Buying medicines online, false claims and real risks

We need more pharmacists in the general practice team

Rena AminBy Rena Amin, Joint Associate Director Medicine Management, NHS Greenwich CCG

Having a pharmacist working as part of the team in a GP practice isn’t a brand new idea – I’ve been doing it for the last ten years. I have colleagues doing the same in pockets around the country but I hope it won’t be long before it’s seen as the norm.

People might be sceptical about seeing a pharmacist in a GP surgery. Why do we need pharmacists in GP practices? What would they do? And how would they benefit the patient? Read more We need more pharmacists in the general practice team

Yellow is the new black

Susan Huey 150x150Susan Huey, Clinical Pharmacist, Pre-registration Tutor and Yellow Card Champion for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Have you completed a yellow card? Are you encouraging your patients to report any adverse side effects to any medicines they are taking? All of us can do our part to help ensure healthcare products are acceptably safe for patients. Read more Yellow is the new black

How are new medicines developed?

Simon MacKay compressed for webBy Simon MacKay, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde.

Every day we see stories in the media about new drug discoveries.  Medicines have revolutionised the treatment of disease, reduced the need for hospitalisation and surgery, and improved the quality of life of patients. Pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists are central to the discovery of new drugs and the development of new medicines for the treatment of many conditions. But how do new medicines get discovered in the first place? Read more How are new medicines developed?

Better use of repeat dispensing would improve patient care

Ash_Soni_0411By Ash Soni, Vice Chair of the English Pharmacy Board
The Government announced today that prescription charges in England will rise from £7.85 to £8.05 on 1st April.

A new report, Prescription Charges and Employment, from The Prescription Charges Coalition has found that the cost of prescription charges prevents over a third of people with long term conditions who pay for their prescriptions from taking their medicines as prescribed. Some face medicines poverty, having to choose between paying for their medication and household expenses such as food or heating. Read more Better use of repeat dispensing would improve patient care

Caring for patients at home

Nisha DesaiBy Nisha Desai, Senior  Clinical Pharmacist for Frail Elderly Services, Northumbria NHS Trust

Our ageing population presents huge challenges when managing medication. Around 36% of people over 75 take four or more prescribed medicines and up to 50% of medicines prescribed for older people are not taken as intended. The good news is that pharmacists can make a huge impact with this group of patients.

At Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, we have developed a domiciliary pharmacy service as part of the Local Integrated Network which aims to join up care programmes across health and social care systems. Read more Caring for patients at home