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.

  • 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 the 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. To get information on flu season 2020/2021 including pricing information and changes to eligibility for NHS free flu jab visit: 10 facts you must know – FLU SEASON 2020/2021.

  • How to get emergency prescription? Different options explained.
    Pharmacy insights

    How to get Emergency Prescription [ANSWERED]

    Requests for an emergency supply of medication or an emergency prescription is not uncommon in a community pharmacy. Some of the common reason for patients to request an emergency supply of medication are: Patients being away from home and forgot to take their medication Patients being away from home and lost their medication Patients ran out of medication and unable to get their medication from their regular doctor Patients who require medication urgently and cannot obtain a prescription immediately have few options to obtain necessary drugs. In this post I will talk about the following: getting an emergency prescription getting an emergency supply of medication from a pharmacy alternative options…

  • Sumatriptan over the counter can be used for treatment of acute migraines
    Pharmacy insights

    How to get Sumatriptan Over The Counter

    When a migraine happens,  many patients reach for common analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, or combination products containing codeine such as co-codamol or Migraleve. Sumatriptan is a medication that can be used to relieve an acute migraine attack. Sumatriptan works differently to analgesics. In this post, I will discuss the mechanism of action, suitability & requirements for the supply and possible side effects of sumatriptan over the counter.

  • FreeStyle Libre NHS: criteria explained
    Pharmacy insights

    Everything about FreeStyle Libre NHS Criteria

    FreeStyle Libre is an innovative device designed for diabetic patients to monitor their glucose continuously. So far, all diabetic patients who wanted to use FreeStyle Libre had to self-fund the device. From April 2019, a new agreement came into place, allowing some diabetic patients to be prescribed FreeStyle Libre on NHS. In this post, I summarise Freestyle Libre and NHS criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to get the sensor prescribed by a GP. What is FreeStyle Libre sensor? Freestyle libre sensor is a glucose monitoring system that automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings. Freestyle libre sensor updates glucose levels every minute and stores up to 8 hours of glucose…

  • Flu jab cost by main UK pharmacies
    Pharmacy insights

    Flu vaccines 2019 / 2020

    Last year, during 2018/2019 flu season, community pharmacist delivered over 1.4 mln flu vaccinations to patients under NHS Flu Vaccination Service (PSNC, n.d.). Although flu season 2019/2020 seems far away, updated details for this service and flu vaccines 2019 /2020 are already known. To get information on flu season 2020/2021 including pricing information and changes to eligibility for NHS free flu jab visit: 10 facts you must know – FLU SEASON 2020/2021.