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Autism and me: a pharmacist’s personal perspective

A diagnosis of autism for one pharmacist has helped her understand herself better in terms of her career, as well as in other aspects of life On holiday in 2018, I went on a quad bike experience and had a rough time. The noise, the movement: I was slow to learn the controls and struggled…
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No link between MMR vaccine and autism, according to large-scale Danish study

Giving children the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not cause autism, according to the results of a major new study. Of 657,461 children born in Denmark between 1999 and December 2010, 6517 children were diagnosed with autism. MMR-vaccinated compared with MMR-unvaccinated children saw a fully-adjusted autism record of 0.93%. There was also no…
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NICE publishes new draft guidance on stopping antidepressants

New draft guidance on stopping antidepressants says GPs could be supporting patients for months if they experience severe side effects which could include suicidal thoughts and panic attacks. Healthcare professionals should be aware that patients’ withdrawal from antidepressants could take ‘weeks or months’, the new draft advice – which forms part of yesterday’s 90-page third…
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More needs to be done to stop the spread of vaccine misinformation

Pharmacists can take initiative and proactively educate patients about the importance of getting protected against preventable diseases, says The Pharmacist’s editor-in-chief Beth Kennedy Ten years ago, diseases such as measles and mumps seemed like relics of the past; unpleasant and often deadly afflictions that may have affected previous generations but never our own, and certainly…
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Mumps cases at highest level in 10 years

Public Health England (PHE) has urged eligible patients to get vaccinated against measles and mumps after a high number of cases. PHE confirmed this month that there were 2,028 cases of mumps in England in the second quarter of 2019, the ‘highest quarterly’ data since 2009. This comes as the UK has been recently deemed second…
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Boris Johnson calls on healthcare teams to improve MMR vaccine uptake

The Prime Minister has today urged healthcare teams to up their efforts in increasing the uptake of both doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to 95% across the UK. Boris Johnson set out the ‘urgent action’ to be taken, including encouraging GPs to promote catch-up MMR jabs for patients who have not…
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Simon Stevens: NHS must ‘win argument’ that vaccination is necessary

The NHS must ‘win an argument’ that vaccination is necessary to halt the spread of preventable diseases, the NHS’s chief executive has said. Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester last week (19 June), Simon Stevens called for the NHS to take a wider social role on issues such as vaccination, knife crime and…
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Five things that make a ‘clinical’ pharmacist, according to NHS England

On 31 January, NHS England announced a new general practice funding contract that will pay for 70% of a practice pharmacist’s wage for each surgery during the deal’s first 12 months. Funding will be provided for 20,000 more staff including pharmacists, physiotherapists, paramedics and physician associates so that GP practices can work collaboratively with other…
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Facebook vows to combat anti-vaccine misinformation

Facebook will take measures to tackle vaccine misinformation on its social networking sites, it announced last week (7 March). The social media giant said it will commit to reducing the distribution of anti-vaccine content on the platform, including taking action against vaccine hoaxes identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centres for…
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Spotting perinatal depression in community pharmacy

Pharmacists are well-placed to spot this common condition in their patients, says pharmacy consultant Alan Pollard Key learning points • Symptoms can start to show from the point of conception • Perinatal depression can be easier to spot in regular patients • Medication may be required to treat the condition Although the medical definition regards the perinatal period…
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