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Medicines use reviews provided a valuable clinical pathway for pharmacists but never fulfilled their potential, says editor Richard Thomas. Pharmacists may miss them more than they might think.

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Community pharmacy in Wales is seen as the solution, not the problem. The contrast with England could not be more marked, says editor Richard Thomas.

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The nation needs a national pharmacy Covid vaccination service. Why are ministers dithering, asks Pharmacy Magazine editor Richard Thomas

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By Pharmacy Magazine editor Richard Thomas

Can you remember those heady, far-off days of early March 2020 BC (Before Coronavirus)? The world seemed a simpler place back then before pharmacies across the land were suddenly hit by a deluge of requests for masks, paracetamol and hand sanitiser, and the wheels nearly came off.

Except they didn’t. As the health service threatened to crumble around them, community pharmacy teams held their nerve and under relentless pressure kept their doors open for patients. It was humbling to witness and, for us, the stand-out story of an extraordinary year. Pharmacy delivered – as it always does – but at what cost, asks PM editor Richard Thomas

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Pharmacies have played a critical role in the pandemic so far. They must be a major part of the national vaccination effort, says Pharmacy Magazine editor Richard Thomas

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It is 25 years since the first issue of Pharmacy Magazine was published. Much has changed, but some things are timeless, says editor Richard Thomas

 

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The GPhC is suddenly in the spotlight. After displaying flexibility and responsiveness with many of its actions during the Covid crisis, it now finds itself facing difficult questions on several fronts. 

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By Richard Thomas, editor, Pharmacy Magazine

Regulation is an expensive business these days, it would appear, if the GPhC’s proposal to raise the annual premises fee by nearly 40 per cent is anything to go by.

What caught our eye was a finding buried in the accompanying impact assessment, which suggested that over half the pharmacies in the research sample are operating at a deficit. Confirmation, if any were needed, that the pharmacy sector is “demonstrating a notable fragility” (in the words of Ernst & Young) was provided by a slew of headlines in recent weeks concerning the financial tribulations of Boots, LloydsPharmacy and Pharmacy2U.

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By Richard Thomas, editor, Pharmacy Magazine

It is a well established principle that continuity of care – seeing the same health professional over time – improves patient outcomes. It is something pharmacists, embedded in their local communities, instinctively recognise in their day-to-day practice.

Commissioners understand this as well. In Wales, for example, the chief pharmacist Andrew Evans has said on several occasions that the NHS should value continuity and reward those pharmacies that deliver it.

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By Richard Thomas, editor, Pharmacy Magazine

Is the new contractual framework in England a good deal or a bad one for community pharmacy?

Rather like Orthrus, the two-headed dog in Greek mythology with each head pointing in a different direction, there are two diametrically opposed views on this. Both are represented in this issue, from “total disaster” on the one hand to “best hope of changing our fortunes” on the other.

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