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Sunday 17 February 2019
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February 12, 2019
Medicines manufacturers have warned that a no-deal Brexit ‘makes no sense’ because the UK would no longer be a part of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).

Medicines manufacturers have warned that a no-deal Brexit "makes no sense" because the UK would no longer be a part of the Falsified Medicin

February 8, 2019
Most medicines can still be dispensed even if they return an alert from the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) database, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has advised.

Most medicines can still be dispensed even if they return an alert from the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) database, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has advised.
 
The FMD is a series of European anti-counterfeiting measures that will see pharmacists scan packs of medication to very their authenticity before they are dispensed. It comes into effect tomorrow (9 February).
 
In the early days of the directive, medicines should only not be dispensed if there is “a clear indication” that they are fake, the NPA advised.

February 8, 2019
Pharmacists must work towards full compliance with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) deadline despite implementation delays in the supply chain, pharmacy bodies have said.

Pharmacists must work towards full compliance with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) deadline despite implementation delays in the supply chain, pharmacy bodies have said.
 
The UK FMD working group for community pharmacy said there will be a ‘significant quantities’ of medicines without the FMD safety features – including a 2D barcode and anti-tamper device – in circulation after the February 9 deadline, but pharmacists should still make sure they have everything in place for the change.
 

February 8, 2019
Allowing pharmacist to dispense alternatives to GP prescriptions in case of shortages is likely to increase workload for pharmacists but simultaneously reduce pressure on them.

Allowing pharmacist to dispense alternatives to GP prescriptions in case of shortages is likely to increase workload for pharmacists but simultaneousl

February 6, 2019
Pharmacists in the UK have been urged caution when dispensing the drug Amoxicillin by manufacturer Accord

Pharmacists in the UK have been urged caution when dispensing the drug Amoxicillin by manufacturer Accord.
 
The class 4 drug alert has been issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for Amoxicillin 500mg capsules. The relevant batch numbers are MP18062, MP18063, and MP18064, distributed in October last year.
 

January 29, 2019
The supply of medicines will be prioritised over ‘vital food’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to health secretary Matt Hancock.

The supply of medicines will be prioritised over "vital food" in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to health secretary Matt Hancock.
 

January 25, 2019
Pharmacists will play a crucial role in the Government’s bid to cut antibiotic use by 15%, according to its five-year national plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Pharmacists will play a crucial role in the Government’s bid to cut antibiotic use by 15%, according to its five-year national plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
 
The document, published yesterday (24 January) alongside a 20-year vision, outlines a number of actions aimed at reducing drug resistance by ensuring people take fewer antibiotics.
 

January 23, 2019
Those aged 18-29 are the most likely to suffer an asthma attack and least likely to receive life-saving asthma care than any other age group, research has revealed.

Those aged 18-29 are the most likely to suffer an asthma attack and least likely to receive life-saving asthma care than any other age group, research has revealed.
 
Two-thirds (67%) of patients in this group are not receiving basic asthma care – higher than any other age group – a survey of more than 10,000 asthma patients by the charity Asthma UK revealed.
 
Patients in this age group are also twice as likely to receive emergency asthma care than patients aged over 60, the charity said.
 

January 21, 2019
The National Institute of health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Verzenios (abemaciclib) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) to treat metastatic breast cancer

The National Institute of health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Verzenios (abemaciclib) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) to treat metastatic breast cancer.
 
Eli Lilly and Company announced on 18 January that the drug is recommended by NICE within its marketing authorisation as an option for treating locally advanced or metastatic, hormone receptor- positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer as first endocrine-based therapy in adults.
 

January 17, 2019
Erleada™ (apalutamide) offers a new treatment option for men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who are at high risk of metastatic disease
Janssen has announced that the European Commission (EC) has licensed Erleada (apalutamide), for the treatment of men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) who are at high risk of developing metastatic disease.
 
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK,1 resulting in over 47,000 diagnoses each year, or 129 each day.2
 
January 16, 2019
A university has been given more than £2m to conduct research into opiod overprescribing in the NHS.

A university has been given more than £2m to conduct research into opiod overprescribing in the NHS.
 

January 14, 2019
Three people have been imprisoned for their part in illegally supplying prescription-only medicines, the Government’s medicines watchdog has reported.

Three people have been imprisoned for their part in illegally supplying prescription-only medicines, the Government’s medicines watchdog has reported.
 

January 11, 2019
Commonly prescribed drugs for diabetes, heart conditions and high blood pressure could help treat severe mental health problems, a study has shown.

Commonly prescribed drugs for diabetes, heart conditions and high blood pressure could help treat severe mental health problems, a study has shown.
 

January 10, 2019
Ensuring extra refrigerated storage to stockpile temperature-sensitive medicines in the case of a no-deal Brexit will cost £1m, the Government has revealed.

Ensuring extra refrigerated storage to stockpile temperature-sensitive medicines in the case of a no-deal Brexit will cost the UK £1m, the Government has revealed.

January 8, 2019
The change follows concerns around fatalities resulting from the misuse of the medicines

Pregabalin and gabapentin will be reclassified as Class C controlled drugs from 1 April, 2019.
 
The change means doctors will have to physically sign prescriptions for the drugs, rather than sending electronic copies, and pharmacists must dispense within 28 days of the prescription being written.
 
The drugs, which can be used to treat anxiety, nerve pain and epilepsy, will be included in the ‘exempted drugs’ list, which means they do not need to be stored in a controlled drugs cabinet.
 

January 7, 2019
New plans for the NHS to tackle ‘killer conditions’ such as strokes and heart attacks could save up to half a million lives, the UK’s Government has announced.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published today (7 January) outlines how over three million people will be treated from new stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade.
 
The measures, supported by £4.5bn in new service model funding, will help prevent over 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and cases of dementia, according to the plan.
 
Measures in the plan will also help over three million people through improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next 10 years, it said.
 

January 4, 2019
The medicines watchdog has recalled certain batches of products containing ibesartan made by the manufacturer Accord (formerly Actavis) over contamination fears.

The medicines watchdog has recalled certain batches of products containing ibesartan made by the manufacturer Accord (formerly Actavis) over contamination fears.
 
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) yesterday (3 January) recalled the products as a 'precautionary measure' following possible N‑nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) contamination.
 
It comes as part of a wider European investgation into sartan products, it said.
 

January 3, 2019
What the Department of Health and Social Care’s ‘operational readiness’ guidance says about exiting the EU

There is now a draft basis on which the UK is due to leave the European Union (EU) in March 2019 – but in the event of a ‘no deal’ exit, officials want the health and care system to be prepared.
 
Enter the EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance – a 34-page document from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) summarising the contingency plans.
 

December 11, 2018
A no-deal Brexit could create disruption over importing and exporting medicines at the Anglo-French border for up to six months, the Government has predicted.

A no-deal Brexit could create disruption over importing and exporting medicines at the Anglo-French border for up to six months, the Government has predicted.
 
In a letter published on 7 December, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said Britain exiting the European Union without a deal will "significantly" reduce access across the channel for "up to six months".
 

December 6, 2018
Delays in taking new cancer drugs through clinical trials and getting them approved for use mean NHS patients are waiting longer to access them, a report by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) finds.

NHS patients are waiting longer for new cancer drugs because of delays in taking them through clinical trials and getting them approved for use, a new report has revealed.
The average time from when a cancer drug is patented to approval by NICE increased from 12.7 years between 2000-08 to 14.1 years between 2009-16, The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) found.

December 6, 2018
Research shows 31% of medication administration errors in English and Welsh acute care trusts are due to omitted medicine or ingredient.

Three in 10 drug-related deaths occurring in acute care settings are caused by omission, a study has revealed.
 

December 6, 2018
Leading academics and health data specialists have formed an alliance to boost science and innovation in the UK

The UK’s leading academics and health data specialists have formed an alliance to develop new ways to design and support the medical research of the future, and to improve the care patients receive from the NHS.
 
The UK Health Data Research Alliance will look atthe best ways to design, use, collect, manage and analyse health data in a responsible way for clinical trials, medical research, and innovation.
 

November 29, 2018
First child cancer patients treated with new CAR-T therapy in UK

Children with cancer at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are this week starting a new therapy treatment tailored to target patients’ specific cancer cells.
 
The CAR-T treatment involves collecting and using a patient’s own immune cells to fight the cancer over a number of weeks. 
 
Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital is also offering the immunotherapy treatment, and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will join next month.
 

November 29, 2018
In the EU, regorafenib is indicated for treatment of adult patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with sorafenib
Bayer has announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Stivarga® (regorafenib) as an option for treating advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in adults who have had Nexavar® (sorafenib) only if patientshave Child-Pugh grade A liver impairment and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1.1
 

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