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?

Community Innovators – Jay Badenhorst

Jay 150Part of our series on Inspirational Community Innovators

Jay Badenhorst is a community pharmacist that started his career in South Africa. He moved to the UK in 2001 and soon after that decided to stay permanently. He is passionate about pharmacy and the potential that community pharmacy can play in the health and wellbeing of patients.

He once said “In order to be a great leader you don’t need an official title. Whether you’re a pharmacy manager, assistant or technician, you can achieve great things.” He believes that it takes a multifaceted approach to ensuring patients’ best interests are always kept at heart in community pharmacy. Every team members brings a valuable contribution to ensuring every contact counts. He believes it is up to employers to ensure that the professional development of all team members in the pharmacy is ongoing, including investing time into the development of newly qualified pharmacists. Read more Community Innovators – Jay Badenhorst

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

Careers advice for Recently qualified pharmacists

HarpreetOn Thursday 5th of May recently qualified pharmacists gathered together for our Pharmacy Careers event, looking for guidance and advice on where a career in pharmacy can take them and what they can do to realise their ambitions.

Ash Soni, the president of the RPS, opened the event discussing the emerging opportunities for pharmacists who are willing to embrace change. He described how resilience is a crucial skill for modern pharmacists and that emerging new roles for pharmacists provided exciting opportunities in the near future.

“The only limit to your career within Pharmacy is your imagination” – Ash Soni

Read more Careers advice for Recently qualified pharmacists

Identifying Leadership to help build your Faculty portfolio

Susan Ibrahim editedby Susan Youssef MFRPSII MRPharmS

Leadership inspires pharmacists and their teams to achieve high standards of performance and personal development. The Faculty leadership cluster ties into this by allowing you to record the many instances where leadership has been applied successfully as a pharmacist. Initially the way I approached the leadership cluster was by referring to the framework competencies and comparing these to my CPD records and my CV, I then selected suitable examples which I could use for the leadership cluster. Read more Identifying Leadership to help build your Faculty portfolio

Adaptive clinical trials – could patients benefit?

Photo - Liz Allen

by Liz Allen, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London and Quintiles, Early Clinical Development

What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are studies designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of potential new medicines. Clinical trials are divided into four phases (Phase I, II, III and real world late phase studies sometime called Phase IV).

Phase 1 requires a small number of subjects, usually healthy volunteers though more recently such studies involve small numbers of patients. As the development moves from phase to phase increasingly large numbers of patients become involved and the cost escalates. It is estimated that about 40% to 50% of drugs that enter phase III studies will fail, by which point a pharmaceutical company will have invested close to one billion pounds. Read more Adaptive clinical trials – could patients benefit?

How to balance your studies and your social life

David Beaumont - PhotoAt last, summer is just around the corner but you’ll probably have to tackle exams before you can officially switch into ‘summer mode’. At this time of year many of you will be busy revising but it’s really important that you get the balance right between your revision, part-time work and relaxing.
Here’s my advice to help you achieve this balance and make this upcoming exam season your best yet…
Read more How to balance your studies and your social life

Five Tips on Stress Management

Reshma ImageFive Tips on Stress Management – by Reshma Bance

Scheduling

Leaving a sufficient amount of time to revise is vital to success. To ensure this is the case, organise a structured timetable and don’t forget to include some time for some relaxation and socialising. During your timetabled hours, if you feel that you are not studying effectively, then take a short break. (Be careful not to let a short break turn into a couple of hours!) Planning and scheduling is key to your success, and can prevent you feeling stressed out. Read more Five Tips on Stress Management

How much is polypharmacy a necessary evil?

MartinDuerden

By Dr Martin Duerden, a GP in North Wales and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Bangor University

A few years ago, I and some GP colleagues – Tony Avery from Nottingham University, and Rupert Payne from Cambridge University – were asked to do a review of polypharmacy by the King’s Fund. Polypharmacy had always been looked on disparagingly through my training in medicine and my subsequent work as a GP. It was clear from our review that this high minded perspective of polypharmacy was no longer valid.

Polypharmacy has become common place and the stark evidence is that we now have three times more people taking ten-or-more drugs than was the case in the late 1990s. The reasons for this are complex; many more people take preventative drugs for things like high blood pressure and lipid-lowering; we have a plethora of guidelines urging us to use treatments; and there are an increasing number of drugs available. Perhaps the biggest issue now and in the future is the shear number of people in middle age who are getting older and frailer and carrying many diseases into old age – the so-called ‘multimorbidity challenge’.

Read more How much is polypharmacy a necessary evil?