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NEWS IN BRIEF: Pharmacy2U; GP Crisis; Breastfeeding Shame; Statins; Ketamine


05 May 2016

Pharmacy2U opens £3.5m Leeds medication hub

Yorkshire-based Pharmacy2U, the UK’s first online pharmacy, has officially unveiled its new £3.5m state-of-the-art fulfilment facility in the Whinmoor area of Leeds, Business Quarter reports.

The 30,000 sq ft prescription fulfilment facility can dispatch one million prescription items a month, more than 10 times the capacity of the company’s previous system.

The new facility is pivotal to the 17-year-old company’s ambitious future plans, as it seeks to increase the number of customers using its convenient NHS home delivery medication service – as well as those using its online doctor, private prescription and over the counter medicine services.

The majority of the multimillion pound investment in the facility came from Pharmacy2U, supported by a £450,000 local enterprise grant from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership business growth programme, together with funding from Barclays.

Health chiefs out of touch with crisis in general practice

Health chiefs repeatedly missed the growing crisis in GP practices over a number of years and are now “flying blind in their attempts to tackle it, The Times reports.

The government has been accused of ignoring the “ever-worsening” situation.

While patient consultations have soared by 15 per cent in the past five years, the GP workforce has increased by only 4.75 per cent.

Very little national data has been collected on family doctor services in the past decade, making the pressures faced by GPs “largely invisible” to health officials, an investigation by the King’s Fund think tank found.

A miffed mum has told of her shock after a pharmacist ‘threw a towel over her’ to cover up her child as she breast-fed in public.

Young mum Catherine Porter from Hucknall said she was ‘literally livid’ after she went into a Nottingham pharmacy with her baby, Mya, the Mansfield Chad reports.

She told: “Me and my sister went to the pharmacy with five-month-old old daughter – when we were waiting I decided to take a seat and feed my daughter as she was getting very restless.

“In doing so a man who worked at the pharmacy threw a heavy towel over my daughter and me. I was fully covered and you couldn’t see anything other than my daughters head.

“The towel was heavy, dirty and I wouldn’t say it was light enough for her to breathe through.”

Statins raise operations risks

Patients should stop taking statins before heart surgery to cut their risk of fatal complications, The Times reports.

Research has found the cholesterol-lowering drugs did not prevent heart muscle damage or atrial fibrillation, but patients on statins were more likely to suffer acute kidney injury, which kills more than 15,000 patients a year.

More than seven million patients in Britain take statins to protect against heart attacks and strokes, and the researchers said the findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, did not suggest that they should stop.

About 17,000 patients a year have heart bypass surgery in Britain and most will already be on statins.

Ketamine could hold key to side-effect free antidepressant, scientists reveal

A substance produced after taking the drug ketamine could be used to create a fast-acting anti-depressant without its harmful side-effects according to scientists, the Independent reports.

Ketamine, which was banned in the UK in 2006 and made a class B drug in 2014, was initially used as a horse tranquiliser by vets but has latterly become better known for its use by clubbers and to facilitate date-rape.

Clinical trials of ketamine in humans have shown it can relieve depression much faster than commonly prescribed drugs, but the problem was it also created the dissociative, euphoric and addictive properties that made it an illegal drug.


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