Pharmacy insights

Articles and posts around pharmacy in UK. Some areas covered includes news around drugs, their developments, drug effectiveness, statistical information on drug issuing and legal aspect of the pharmacy.

  • (Covid-19) Coronavirus treatment: drug leads
    Pharmacy insights

    Coronavirus (Covid-19) treatment – drug candidates

    Developing or finding the right, existing candidate for the treatment of coronavirus became one of the priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective treatment is not only needed for the current outbreak of the virus but also in case of any future outbreaks if seasonality is observed in the rates of infections, like with influenza (‘flu’) virus. Poorer countries with weak healthcare infrastructure (number of doctors and respirators, for example) will solely rely on cheap drug treatment donated from other countries. The purpose of this post is to list drugs which are or were considered as the treatment of coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.

  • Paracetamol shortage during COVID-19 supply options
    Pharmacy insights

    How to get paracetamol during COVID-19 pandemic?

    Paracetamol, one of the most prescribed drugs in the UK, and probably the most popular over the counter medicine has been recently subject to shortages due to increased demand during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the last 1-2 years, surgeries across the countries advised many patients to purchase paracetamol over the counter to reduce the cost of drugs prescribed on the NHS. Paracetamol shortage in the UK has been problematic for many patients who rely on this essential drug to manage their long-term conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Similarly, paracetamol shortage is seen for the liquid preparations such as paracetamol 3 months+ (brand: Calpol Infant) and paracetamol 6 years+ (brand name: Calpol…

  • NHS prescriptions delivered: guide for patients
    Pharmacy insights

    How to get NHS prescriptions delivered?

    Choosing NHS prescriptions delivered in the current climate is something patients should consider, however as you will learn from the post, some distance-selling pharmacies, which deliver NHS prescriptions via Royal Mail, are struggling with the demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Delivery of NHS prescriptions will not only support the social distancing measures to reduce the interaction with other people and vulnerable patients, but also reduce the workload of pharmacy teams, as many NHS prescriptions are dispensed ‘centrally’ and delivered directly to patient’s homes. In this post, I will discuss how the biggest pharmacies deliver NHS prescriptions in the UK. I will also talk about two main options for delivery…

  • How to change a nominated pharmacy?
    Pharmacy insights

    How to change a nominated pharmacy?

    Have you recently moved and want to change your pharmacy? Or perhaps you are not happy with the service you have been receiving from your current pharmacy, whatever the reason changing nominated pharmacy is easy and can be done in several ways. How to change a nominated pharmacy? In this post, I will discuss 7 easy ways of changing your nominated pharmacy.

  • EpiPen shortage UK
    Children's health,  Health,  Pharmacy insights

    EpiPen shortage UK: WHY? How To Get EpiPen

    EpiPen, a device containing adrenaline (ephedrine) used in allergic emergencies, has been subject to shortages since late 2017. Patients who are at risk of an anaphylactic reaction, which can be life-threatening, are advised to keep two pens with them at all times. EpiPen shortage in the UK has been covered widely by mainstream media; therefore, in this post, I will focus on the process of getting an EpiPen device and discuss alternative treatment options and supply issues around them. Recently I was surprised when a patient presented a prescription for EpiPen and traveled 20 miles as their local pharmacy could not supply EpiPen as ‘items is out of stock.’ In…

  • Lemborexant (Davigo) by Eisai new sleeping pill
    Pharmacy insights

    Lemborexant a New Sleeping Pill Approved

    Lemborexant (brand name: DAYVIGO™), developed by Eisai, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, was recently approved in the US for the treatment of insomnia with symptoms of difficulty in falling asleep or maintaining the sleep during the night. Although there is a number of prescription medications used in the UK for the management of insomnia, Lemborexant’s mechanism of action differs from drugs currently available in the UK. Will Lemborexant be available in the UK? How does it work? Is Lemborexant effective, and how does it compare to commonly used Zolpidem in the treatment of insomnia? Can you be dependent on Lemborexant? These are some of the questions I will answer in this…

  • Ranitidine cancer risk. Recall of ranitidine drug/
    Pharmacy insights

    Ranitidine recalls: updates & patients information

    The global market for ranitidine has been in turmoil in recent months, due to number of ranitidine recalls (including branded Zantac) by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US and shortly afterward, in UK. The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recalled number of ranitidine products due to possible contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which has genotoxic and carcinogenic potential, a substance that could possibly cause cancer. Ranitidine – cancer scare was born. Note: Ranitidine (the chemical) does not have carcinogenic potential, but NDMA, a contaminant, which was found in many ranitidine containing products (tablets). Ranitidine is a commonly prescribed medication used mainly for the treatment of acid…

  • Flu jab cost by main UK pharmacies
    Pharmacy insights

    Flu jab cost 2019-2020

    Since 2015 community pharmacies in the UK are able to provide flu vaccination service to NHS patients. Year on year this service became increasingly popular. Last year a record number of flu jabs were provided by community pharmacist with an estimated 1.4 mln vaccinations administered as part of NHS service. This number does not include flu jabs administered on the basis of a private service. Patients who are not eligible to receive a free NHS flu jab can use private service to receive a vaccination for which patients pay. Prices for flu jab  varies between each pharmacy/pharmacy chain. Below is a summary of the main pharmacies and associated flu jab…

  • Flu vaccines 2019/2020
    Pharmacy insights

    Flu jabs 2019/2020 delays in supply

    In one of my previous posts, I summarised vaccine availability for upcoming flu season 2019/2020. During upcoming season we will see new flu vaccinations, however, we now know that there are already delays in the production of quadrivalent influenza flu vaccine affecting the delivery of service in some eligible patients.

  • Emergency prescription
    Pharmacy insights

    How to get Emergency Prescription

    In one of my previous posts, I discussed requirements for patients to receive medication on the basis of an emergency supply. An emergency prescription can be obtained from a pharmacy under CPCS service (previously known as NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) scheme). This service was created to reduce the burden on urgent and emergency care services such as walk in and out of hour centres. CPCS service was launched in September 2019, replacing NUMSAS service (pilot scheme) and at the same time extended to all pharmacies in the UK.