Winner of ‘I Love My Pharmacist’ competition announced

Hospital pharmacist Emily Rose has bagged the ‘I Love My Pharmacist’ prize by going above and beyond the call of duty in the name of excellent patient care.

Emily, 29, who has worked at the Southmead Hospital in Bristol for five years, was shortlisted by an expert panel before being voted for by thousands of members of the public.

The final stage of the Royal Pharmaceutical Competition saw her face a tense round of interviews with a judging panel.

Emily said: “Being the winner is a real honour; we go the extra mile on a daily basis for our patients and it is nice to have some recognition for all our hard work.

“At the judging panel day, it was lovely to meet and learn from the other pharmacists, especially as they were all from different sectors which could help improve our communication going forward.”

Dry eye disease treatment given green light

Final draft guidance has today (4 November) been published recommending ciclosporin, also known as Ikervis, for the treatment of sever keratitis1 in adults by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The medication, manufactured by Santen Pharmaceutical, is being approved for adults where dry eye disease has not improved by using artificial tears.

Ciclosporin helps patients increase their eyes' natural ability to produce tears and reduces inflammation in the eye.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE said: "I am sure this will be welcome news to patients and healthcare professionals alike."

Packaging overhaul for Alzheimer’s medication

The pharmaceutical industry has teamed up with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to redesign Alzheimer’s medication packaging.

The new design will include days of the week on the blister packs in an effort to help patients retain their independence in taking their medicines.

George McNamara, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It’s great that the voices of people with dementia have been heard and much-needed action is being taken.

“We would like to see other companies within the pharmaceutical industry following suite to create dementia-friendly medication packaging across the board."

The improved packaging will be introduced from June 2016.

Written complaints statistics to be published quarterly

New quarterly information on written complaints about NHS hospitals and community care is now being published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The report is intended to provide a more frequent, contemporary source of information and follows the previous release of annual statistics released by the HSCIC.