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Health Watch

This month's latest clinical news.

Gabapentin, pregabalin and oxycodone scripts rise sharply

Prescriptions for gabapentin, pregabalin, and oxycodone rose consistently each year between 2013 and 2018.

Regulator cracks down on online supply of high-risk meds

The regulator is taking “robust” enforcement action against online pharmacies who inappropriately supply high-risk medicines.

Reusable inhalers ‘could reduce NHS carbon footprint’

The newly launched reusable Respimat inhalers can be used with up to six refill cartridges.

Community pharmacies more likely to fail GPhC inspections

Community pharmacies are more likely to fail a GPhC inspection but also account for all pharmacies rated excellent.

GPhC publishes pharmacy inspection reports for first time

The GPhC said this would improve transparency and “drive improvement in pharmacy services.”

RPS tasked with analysing pharmacy technicians’ roles

The early career report was commissioned by the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK and Health Education England.

Deprived areas see twice as many A&E visits

The 10 per cent of people in the most deprived areas accounted for twice as many A&E visits than those in least deprived areas. 

PHE warns of prescription drug dependence crisis

Social deprivation and lack of access to information are potential factors in prescription drug dependence.

Majority back 5-year MPharm but funding questions remain

The majority of respondents to a GPhC survey said they favour integrated standards for pharmacists’ education and training.

Suicide rates up for first time in 6 years

The number of suicides in the UK has risen for the first time since 2013, according to the Office of National Statistics.

New HIV diagnoses fall more than a quarter

HIV diagnoses in the UK have fallen by more than a quarter since 2015, according to Public Health England.

NPA vice-chair: Five-year deal may fail to stop pharmacies closing

NPA vice-chair Andrew Lane warns the five-year community pharmacy settlement may fail to prevent the closure of pharmacies.

National bodies highlight expanding role of pharmacists in PCNs

The RPS, BMA and RCGP have called for the greater use of community pharmacists across primary care networks.

Diabetics encouraged to talk about hypoglycaemia risk

Many people who have a diabetic relative have told them to speak to a healthcare professional about their hypoglycaemia risk.

Twenty-fold rise in prescription penalties being overturned

The number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) that are overturned has risen almost twenty-fold in the past five years.

New tool 'will help pharmacies identify their PCN'

A mapping tool to help pharmacies identify which primary care network they should work with is in development.

Call to action over workplace stress in pharmacy

The charity Pharmacist Support has launched a major campaign to highlight mental health concerns in pharmacy.

RPS: Chancellor Javid must "look beyond one year"

The government must take a long-term approach to the recruitment and training of pharmacists, the RPS tells Sajid Javid.

NEL LPC launches financial tool amid concern for pharmacy owners

Pharmacies will need to do 1,871 CPCS interventions to reclaim a £26,200 shortfall in revenue, warns Hemant Patel.

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