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NEWS IN BRIEF: Pharmacy First; EMIS Profits; Boots Apprenticeship; Slimming Products Alert; Valeant; Smoking; Childhood AMR


16 Mar 2016

Got a minor illness? Visit your pharmacy for convenient advice

NHS leaders in Newcastle and Gateshead are calling on local people to take advantage of free expert advice from their local pharmacy for common or less serious conditions, the Chronicle Live reports.

Think Pharmacy First allows people to get advice and medicines to treat common illnesses, such as coughs, colds, upset stomachs and skin problems, simply by going to a community pharmacy.

Dr Guy Pilkington, a local GP and Chair of NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Pharmacists are highly-trained experts and fully qualified to give advice on a range of health issues, from colds and flu to migraines and allergies.

“Lots of people with minor problems which don’t require a visit to the GP will find it is much more convenient to see a trained pharmacist.”

EMIS – adjusted earnings per share and dividend up 15%

EMIS, the UK leader in connected healthcare software and services, has announced full year results, Hargreaves Lansdown reports.

Revenue increased by 13% to £155.9m (including 20% growth in recurring revenues to £123.0m), and adjusted operating profit rose by 12% to £36.6m.

On an organic basis (excluding recent acquisitions) sales grew by 5% and operating profit by 7%; with like-for-like operating margins rising from 23.7% to 24.4%.

Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) and the full year dividend both rose by 15%.

Boots looking for next executives and store managers with new apprenticeship programme

Boots will launch a new sponsored degree apprenticeship programme that gives workers the chance to obtain a degree in a bid to find the next generation of executives, store managers and accountants, the Nottingham Post reports.

The Nottingham-based pharmacy firm will offer a supportive work environment that allows staff to access further study and qualifications when the new scheme begins in September.

It believes career development opportunities will help bring more young people into the workplace and will run the project alongside its existing apprenticeship and work experience programmes.

Alert over slimming products purchased online

A Nottinghamshire woman has recovered after becoming ill after using slimming products purchased online, the Mansfield Chad reports.

The lady contacted the Trading Standards team after falling ill after using the products – a slimming gel and slimming tablets, both bought online. She sought medical attention and is now well.

Trading Standards teams nationally have been investigating the types of products that she bought to ensure they are safe to be sold.

Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, Community Safety Committee Chairman, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This case highlights the dangers of purchasing slimming products from anywhere other than reputable medical sources, such as a pharmacy.

Drugmaker cuts forecast amid fears of default

Valeant has slashed its revenue forecast for next year and for the first time raised the possibility that it risks a default if it fails to file its much-delayed annual report, The Times reports.

Shares in the troubled Canadian pharmaceuticals company, which have lost nearly 84% of their value in the past seven months, fell a further 42.5% yesterday after it admitted in an analysts’ call that it was “not operating on all cylinders” and warned that “the challenges of the past few months are not yet behind us”.

The admission by Michael Pearson, chief executive, of the seriousness of the situation came a day after one of its leading shareholders, Jeffrey Ubben, of the activist hedge fund ValueAct, gave the company’s management a vote of confidence.

43% ‘resume smoking after giving birth’

Nearly half of women who quit smoking during pregnancy take it up again soon after they give birth, according to research in the journal Addiction, the BBC reports.

The analysis of several studies suggests 13% of women who enrol on smoking cessation programmes quit during pregnancy.

But 43% of these restart within six months of giving birth.

Public Health England says more action is needed to help mothers-to-be quit for good.

Common childhood illnesses resist antibiotics

As many as half of common childhood infections are resistant to standard antibiotics, according to researchers who say that children are at risk from contracting superbugs, The Times reports.

GPs might need to change what they prescribe to children with urinary tract infections, said researchers who found that antibiotics were starting to fail. Children who had been treated with antibiotics were 13 times more likely to suffer from superbugs.

The findings, published in the BMJ, add to fears about the threat from bugs that are resistant to antibiotics, which could make common infections potentially fatal and make routine surgery too risky.


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