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Updated: 1 hour 49 min ago

App helps patients cut opioid use after knee replacement

Patients who underwent knee replacement who used an app to monitor their analgesic use had better pain control and took fewer opioids post surgery, study results show.

Final two GP to community pharmacy referral pilot sites announced

Pharmacies in Yorkshire and the West Country are the final two sites to pilot a referral scheme that directs patients from general practice to community pharmacy.

Boots plans to let patients check medicines stock via medicine record software

Boots’s patient medication record system could allow patients, and eventually GPs, to see the multiple’s stock of medicine in each of its pharmacies before ordering repeat prescriptions.

Concerns raised over non-medical alprazolam use

The benzodiazepine alprazolam is being obtained for non-medical use in the UK, particularly among young people, a survey has found.

NPA chair who stepped aside during CMA investigation leaves association's board

The former chair of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), who stepped aside during a competition law investigation into a company that lists him as a director, is to leave the NPA board.

Immunotherapy delays type 1 diabetes mellitus in high-risk individuals

Certain individuals at high risk of developing type 1 diabetes mellitis can delay progression to clinical disease by two years or more with a two-week course of teplizumab, according to results of a phase II study.

Pharmacists to be trained in shared decision making to improve medicines safety, NHS strategy announces

Pharmacists will be trained in shared decision making to help them support patients who are taking opioids, and those with atrial fibrillation on anticoagulants, NHS England and NHS Improvement have announced.

E-cigarette use increases as cigarette smoking falls, report reveals

The proportion of cigarette smokers in England fell from 14.9% in 2017 to 14.4% in 2018, according to annual figures published by NHS Digital.

Government should stop confiscating prescribed medical cannabis obtained abroad, MPs say

The government should “desist from confiscating prescribed medical cannabis obtained overseas under specialist supervision”, the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has said.

Cannabis cuts opioid use in 90% of cases, study finds

Almost nine out of ten adults who bought cannabis for pain relief, and who had also used opioids in the previous six months, had either reduced or stopped opioid use as a consequence, results of a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs show.

Digital checks for free prescription eligibility to be carried out in 10% of pharmacies

A pilot scheme allowing pharmacists to check patient entitlement to free NHS prescriptions will be rolled out to 10% of pharmacies in England “over the summer” of 2019, MPs have been told.

Jonathan Burton elected as chair of Scottish Pharmacy Board

Jonathan Burton has been elected as chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Scottish Pharmacy Board.

Royal college to rewrite policy that said pharmacists should only treat new A&E patients when the case relates to medicine

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has said it will rewrite its position statment on the use of pharmacists in emergency departments, which has been criticised as “disappointing” and “not patient-centred”.

Pharmacy support workers vote in favour of strike action over pay dispute

The vast majority of pharmacy support workers in NHS Tayside have voted in favour of industrial action following a dispute over pay, Unite the Union has said.

WhatsApp groups improve communication within pharmacy teams, finds study

Using the social messaging platform WhatsApp improves communication between junior and senior pharmacists when providing out-of-hours care, study results show.

Vitamin D not protective against cardiovascular events

Vitamin D supplementation is not associated with a reduced risk of major cardiovascular events, a meta-analysis suggests.

Union for Boots pharmacists pledges support for members affected by closures

The union that now represents Boots pharmacists has pledged to support its members who have been affected by the announced closures of 200 Boots stores in the UK by 2021.

RPS asks Home Office for guidance on THC levels in cannabidiol oil

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has written to the Home Secretary calling for “clear guidance” on the permissable level of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabidol in cannabidiol oils.

NHS restricts routine prescription of a further seven items in primary care

The NHS England board has approved guidance that will restrict the prescription of seven more items that are currently available in primary care.

NHS restricts routine prescription of a further seven OTC items

The NHS England board has approved guidance that will restrict the prescription of seven more items that are currently available over the counter.