By Ian Strachan, NPA chairman.

The campaign opposing the cuts to pharmacy services is having the desired effect, but we must ensure we keep up the momentum.

Recently I met the pharmacy minister, Alistair Burt, at his office in Whitehall. The meeting coincided with a campaign milestone: that same day we reached a quarter of a million signatures on the Downing Street petition against Government plans that put pharmacy services in England at risk. By the time you read this, the number will have at least doubled.

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By Alexander Humphries.

Ever since the NPA petition pack against the cuts arrived on the doorstep, I’ve felt a sense of genuine support and warmth from my customers. From the response we’ve had from the public in the space of a few short weeks, I can honestly say that I’m ready to march on Number 10 if necessary.

It is a far cry from when the petition first arrived and my staff and patients knew very little of what was going on. Now, my staff are battle-hardened veterans who have given the 20-second summary of the proposals – and their impact on patients, pharmacies and the NHS – to hundreds of people.

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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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