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Updated: 37 min 52 sec ago

Updated guidance says patients should receive antibiotics within four hours of pneumonia diagnosis

Antimicriobial treatment for hospital and community-acquired pneumonia should be started within four hours of diagnosis, according to updated guidance from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Public Health England.

European Commission approves first CBD medicine for severe epilepsy

A cannabidiol-based medicine for severe epilepsy has been given marketing approval by the European Commission.

Labour government would axe prescription charges, says shadow health secretary

A Labour government “will abolish all prescription charges” if the party wins power at the next general election, the shadow health secretary has said.

Alexa’s medicine reminders can be 'distressing' for dementia patients

Patients with dementia can be “deeply distressed” to receive medication reminders from Alexa-type devices, according to technology thinktank Doteveryone.

No-deal Brexit: pharmacy bodies question the UK government's readiness

Not all pharmacists are convinced by the government’s claims that it is ready to leave the EU without a deal in place.

NICE cannabis guidance could 'detract' from doctors considering prescribing for epilepsy, RPS warns

Draft guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on prescribing cannabis-based medical products could ‘detract’ from consultants who are considering prescribing them for patients with epilepsy, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said.

National patient safety alerts launched

National organisations will be required to standardise the way they issue patient safety alerts within the next 12 months, following the launch of national patient safety alerts.

Pharmacies may need to share medicines when shortages arise after Brexit, says government

The Department of Health and Social Care has suggested pharmacists share their medicine supply with other pharmacies to mitigate the impact of shortages on patients.

Hepatitis C testing for people with any risk factor more cost effective

Testing individuals with any risk factor for the hepatitis C virus is more cost effective than restricting screening to people with a history of injecting drugs, a study based in the Isle of Wight has found.

Free prescription penalty charge system is 'not fit for purpose', say MPs

The penalty charge notice system in England, which fines people up to £100 for wrongly claiming a free prescription, is not fit for purpose and needs to be overhauled, MPs have said.

Power of one: what is holding polypills back?

Single pills with fixed-dose combinations of several medicines are not commonplace for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. As the first randomised controlled trial to show a polypill can cut the risk of heart attacks is published, we look at why, nearly two decades after it was first proposed, development and uptake is limited. 

Avoidable hospital care for patients with diabetes cost the NHS £3bn in 2017/2018, study finds

Hospital treatment for patients with poorly controlled diabetes cost the NHS more than £3bn in avoidable costs in 2017/2018, a study presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes’s Annual Meeting in Barcelona, Spain has revealed.

GPhC restricts dispensing in three online pharmacies over patient safety concerns

The General Pharmaceutical Council has placed conditions on the supply of medicines by three online pharmacies following patient safety concerns raised during its inspection process.

Pharmacy contractor fraud could cost up to £111m each year, NHS England says

Pharmaceutical contractor fraud could be costing the NHS in England around £111m each year.

RPS to explore potential of early years pharmacy technicians

Work towards a UK-wide foundation pharmacy technician framework will be undertaken by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Work Psychology Group — a team of organisational psychology consultants.

EMA to begin review of ranitidine medicines after impurity found

The European Medicines Agency is to start a review of ranitidine medicines after tests revealed that some products contain the impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine.

Gabapentin, pregabalin and oxycodone prescriptions in England increased each year between 2013 and 2018

Prescriptions for gabapentin, pregabalin and oxycodone increased year on year between 2013 and 2018 across primary care in England, study results published in the British Journal of General Practice show.

Just six pharmacies rated 'excellent' in history of GPhC inspections

The General Pharmaceutical Council has rated just six pharmacies as ‘excellent’ following more than 14,500 inspections between August 2013 and November 2018.

First reusable, propellant-free inhaler launched to cut plastic waste

The first reusable, propellant-free inhaler is now available for patients with asthma and COPD, in line with NHS plans to reduce its carbon footprint and plastic waste.

Use of multicompartment compliance aids in the community is 'excessive', says NHS Wales

The use of multicompartment compliance aids in the community is “excessive” and an “ingrained area of practice” that needs to be challenged, guidance from NHS Wales is expected to warn.