Welsh politicians called on to consider pharmacy ahead of 2016 elections

The role of pharmacists has been thrust into the spotlight ahead of the 2016 Welsh election following a report launched by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Steps to Better Health and Wellbeing calls for the key political parties in Wales to use the skills of the pharmacy profession to reduce pressure on other areas of the NHS.

Calls to action include establishing a pharmacy-led Welsh Chronic Medication Service, permitting pharmacists to access individual health records and integrating pharmacy into NHS multidisciplinary teams.

Chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board, Suzanne Scott-Thomas said: “We are looking for commitment from the political parties in Wales to push these changes forward to improve patient safety, increase access to services and to help build capacity by ensuring all health professionals can work at the top of their game.”

Pharmaceutical companies accused of drug price hikes

Drug companies have been exploiting a legal loophole by debranding drugs to inflate their costs, an investigation by the Sunday Times has claimed.

The rules that govern the sale of branded drugs in the NHS do not apply to generic drugs, allowing for the price to be increased by up to 2000%. The cost of Symmetrel, a drug to treat Parkinson’s disease, rose from £5.33 to £130.99 after it was debranded in October 2014.

Drugs to treat epilepsy and eye drops for conjunctivitis were also identified in the newspaper enquiry.  

Practice payment change from November 2015

Community pharmacy contractors should be aware of the increase to the levels of Practice Payment that are being made in the Drug Tariff. From November 2015 the price per item will increase by 1.7p, from 54.7p to 56.4p. The increase is related to delivering the agreed funding of £2bn through fees and allowances in 2015/16.

GPhC announce results of September 2015 registration assessment

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is pleased to announce the names of the 626 pre-registration trainee pharmacists who passed their registration assessment in September; a pass rate of 64%.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said: “Congratulations to those candidates who have successfully passed the registration assessment; we look forward to them joining the register shortly. “The registration assessment remains an important tool for us to ensure that only those candidates who have the knowledge and skills to practise safely and effectively can join the register.”

Here are the results of the September 2015 registration assessment - https://t.co/PoPpVpiqep

— GPhC (@TheGPhC) October 23, 2015

Well Pharmacy revs up expansion plans

Well Pharmacy, formerly The Co-Operative Pharmacy, has announced Nick Hougham as head of acquisitions - a role that forms part of the chain’s plans for expansion.

Hougham will focus on increasing the number of branches from 780 to 1000 within the next three years as part of the £200m five year investment plan.

Hougham has held directorships at EMS Consulting and Interim, as well as senior positions with Lloyd’s Pharmacy.