Success at Cadham Pharmacy recognised in parliament


The team at Cadham Pharmacy have been recognised in parliament. Seven members of parliament brought a motion in support of the innovative work achieved at Cadham by pharmacist owner Bernadette Brown and her team.


The early day motion passed by the seven MPs reads as follows:


“That this House commends the ongoing hard work by all of the staff from Cadham Pharmacy in Cadham, Glenrothes, in going above and beyond to serve the local community.


“It recognises Bernadette Brown and her hardworking staff’s commitment to providing additional services in the pharmacy to reduce the burden on local NHS resources and to offer more access to health services during out of hours.


“It congratulates Maree Ferguson on becoming an independent prescriber and on winning Pharmacist of the Year 2019 at the Scottish Pharmacy Awards.


“It further congratulates the team on winning two Scottish Pharmacy Awards in 2018 for Respiratory and for Innovative Use of Technology in a Community Pharmacy as well as the Corporate LiveWire Global Award for Asthma Clinic of the Year 2018 and the Scottish Pharmacy Award 2019 for Health Promotion.


“It thanks them for everything that they do to benefit the local community; and wishes the business, staff and customers all the best for Cadham Pharmacy’s continuing success.”


Pharmacist and owner of Cadham Pharmacy Bernadette Brown commented:


“I am so grateful to Peter Grant MP for this motion in the house of commons. It is so rewarding that he recognises the whole team at Cadham. We are especially proud that we are supporting the easing of the local burden in the NHS and improving access for the public to highly qualified healthcare practitioners through our extra services.


“We are most proud of our work in saving lives in asthma and the NHS asthma pilot. Both of our young pharmacists have passed their clinical diplomas with distinction.


“Our independent prescribing clinics provide enhanced triage with a service level agreement now in place with all 7 local GP practices and NHS Fife. We are grateful that the service is funded and supported by the Scottish Government. This is a walk-in service and we can treat many more common clinical conditions such as sinusitis, chest infections, ear, nose and throat conditions, acute exacerbations of asthma and COPD to name a few.


“It has been a lifelong dream to own a pharmacy practice and it is a dream come true to be able to care for the people we serve as part of an integrated care pathway with GP consent and most of all the public trusting us and changing their perception of what a pharmacist means to them in their lives and health.”


Three further batches losartan recalled from pharmacies


The MHRA has recalled three batches of Losartan tablets due to contamination with the nitrosamine N-nitroso-N-methylamino butyric acid.


As a precautionary measure to protect public health, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today recalled three batches of Losartan tablets due to contamination with the nitrosamine N-nitroso-N-methylamino butyric acid (NMBA). The affected batches can be viewed here.


The recall is taking place as part of the continued investigation into potential nitrosamine contamination of sartan containing medicines, a class of medicine to treat blood pressure and heart attacks and heart failures.


Currently, there is no evidence that nitrosamine impurities can cause harm and patients are being advised to continue taking their medication.


The investigation into possible contamination of sartan medicines began in 2018, after the nitrosamine N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), was identified in valsartan manufactured at a facility based in China.


Last year, the MHRA recalled batches of valsartan containing tablets to pharmacy level in July and November due to possible NDMA and N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) contamination.


In January and February 2019 the MHRA recalled batches of irbesartan containing tablets after testing revealed possible contamination with NDEA.


The MHRA continues to monitor the situation in the UK and are comprehensively investigating the issue alongside the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM).


Bernadette Sinclair-Jenkins, MHRA’s Manager, Regulatory Assessment Unit of the Inspection, Enforcement and Standards Division, commented:


“Our priority as regulator is to make sure the medicines you and your family take are effective and acceptably safe. This recall shows we are continuing to investigate potential contamination of sartan containing medicines. There is no evidence at present that medicines containing NDMA, NDEA or NMBA have caused any harm to patients and this recall is a precautionary measure. Because of the risk associated with suddenly stopping high blood pressure medication, continue to take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor.”


CCA come out against plastic tax on medicine related items

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has written to HM Treasury to call for all medicine-related items to be excluded from their definition of single-use plastics in new efforts to address waste.


HM Treasury recently consulted on potential options to change the tax system or introduce charges to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste. The government is looking broadly across the whole supply chain, from production and retail to consumption and disposal.


The CCA has stated in its response to the Call for Evidence that it recognises the important role that both individuals and organisations play in reducing avoidable plastic waste and moving to a greener economy. Plastic is the medium of choice for many dosing aids and healthcare products because it does not usually interact with the active ingredients and excipients contained within medicines.


Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive, has commented:


“Medicines are not ordinary consumer products, and any efforts to deliver better environmental outcomes must not have unintended consequences for patient care. We sincerely hope that any policy decisions around changing the tax system or introducing charges for single-use plastics consider very carefully the impacts on sectors such as healthcare, including pharmacy. Any direct or indirect financial strain on the NHS and pharmacy businesses from new plastic taxes simply cannot be borne at present.”

Peter Kelly: Leadership – often spoken of, rarely seen

Peter Kelly

IMAGINE you board a ship only to discover that there is no agreed destination. The Captain announces that the plan is to go with the flow and see which way the wind blows and the ocean roars. How would you feel? Would you feel anxious? Is pharmacy a ship out to sea without direction?


Leadership has really become the buzz word of the decade, but can we all be leaders? If everyone is a leader, who follows? The world is now full of leaders and aspiring leaders, but no one seems to know where we are going. Is it possible that we could all wake up one day to discover that everyone has become a leader with no followers?


I am now going to say something very controversial, I studied pharmacy because I wanted to be a community pharmacist: I didn’t study pharmacy because I wanted to do some of the GPs’ work — although I do enjoy things like doing health checks, giving flu vaccines.


I didn’t study pharmacy because I wanted to promote healthy living — although I do enjoy promoting healthy living. I studied pharmacy because I wanted to learn how drugs work and I wanted to use my knowledge to advise my local community on: how to take drugs; when to take them; when not to take them; how they work; the downsides of taking them; and the probable outcome. That’s the job I studied for because that’s the job I wanted. I didn’t study pharmacy hoping it would change into a different job.


When we talk about the future of pharmacy we always talk about how much it is going to change. The system is going to change: hi-tech, digital, automated, the ‘amazonisation,’ of pharmacy. Who wants this system? Do the patients want a less personal more automated system? Has anyone asked them? Do pharmacists want an automated system so they can go work in GP surgeries delivering services?


Leadership is about listening. Is anybody listening to pharmacy?


Is anybody asking the right questions?


Does it matter what patients want?


Does it matter what pharmacists on the ground want?


Change is inevitable, but not all change is progressive, sometimes it’s regressive and regrettable.


Peter Kelly is a community pharmacist based in London. He has an interest in public health.