By Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board.

Medicines use in care homes has come under the spotlight recently with a number of reports and reviews highlighting issues across Great Britain. Recent evaluations of medicines administration in care homes by Cardiff University revealed distinct medication error types and highlight the need for greater input into pharmaceutical care for care home residents.

The older people’s commissioner for Wales, the independent voice and champion for older people, has also voiced concerns in her report, ‘A Place to Call Home?’.


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By Alexander Humphries.

Experience tells me that it is never a good idea to answer the phone on a Monday morning half-an-hour before the pharmacy opens. Last week I broke the habit of a lifetime and picked up.

The caller, an ex-military man in his 80s, explained that he had been vomiting since 10pm the previous evening, but the last time “it looked like ground-up coffee”.

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By Richard Thomas, Pharmacy Magazine editor.

The NPA accuses Asda of “retail anarchy”, contractors say they are dissatisfied with remuneration and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society calls on pharmacists to “seize and shape the future”. How little in pharmacy seems to have changed. These were the lead news stories in the very first edition of Pharmacy Magazine back in late 1995. Reading them in light of recent events, they have a very familiar ring, don’t they?

Yet, of course, in reality much has changed in pharmacy, health and therapeutics over the past 21 years and we reflect on some of the most significant developments in this special 21st anniversary issue.

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By Alexander Humphries.

I didn’t think the last month or so could get any worse but then music legend David Bowie died. So here’s my view on the state of pharmacy and a small tribute to my hero.

Events of the last two months have started to bring out some of the best in pharmacy, believe it or not, so I want to salute two Heroes who have caught my eye. The first is Calum ‘The Facebook Pharmacist’ Plenderleith. So incensed was he about the lunacy of Government plans to cut pharmacy funding that he poured out his heart in a Facebook post that has been ‘liked’ by nearly 120,000 people and shared by more than 55,000.

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By Sandra Gidley, chair of the English Pharmacy Board.

The Society has made it clear in all discussions with Government that it thinks the 6 per cent cut in funding is shortsighted.

It is undoubtedly a difficult time for community pharmacy at the moment following the announcement of a 6 per cent cut in funding. I have real concern how this will affect staffing levels and opening hours of pharmacies, which will make it harder for pharmacists to care for patients and the public.

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