Pharmacy insights

Articles and posts around pharmacy in UK. Some areas covered includes news around drugs, their developments, drug effectiveness, statistical information on drug issuing and legal aspect of the pharmacy.

  • Ranitidine and cancer. What is the risk?
    Advice for patients,  Pharmacy insights

    Ranitidine and cancer

    Ranitidine is a commonly prescribed medication used mainly for the treatment of acid reflux and stomach ulcers. At a lower dose of 75mg per tablet, ranitidine can be purchased from a pharmacy or supermarkets. Higher-strength of ranitidine tablets (150mg and 300mg) are prescription only medication (POM). Global market for ranitidine has been in turmoil last month, when firstly The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled number of products containing ranitidine (including branded Zantac) and shortly afterward, in UK, The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recalled number of products due to possible contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which has genotoxic and carcinogenic potential (a substance that could possibly cause…

  • Flu jab cost by main UK pharmacies
    Pharmacy insights

    Flu jab cost 2019-2020

    Since 2015 community pharmacies in the UK are able to provide flu vaccination service to NHS patients. Year on year this service became increasingly popular. Last year a record number of flu jabs were provided by community pharmacist with an estimated 1.4 mln vaccinations administered as part of NHS service. This number does not include flu jabs administered on the basis of a private service. Patients who are not eligible to receive a free NHS flu jab can use private service to receive a vaccination for which patients pay. Prices for flu jab  varies between each pharmacy/pharmacy chain. Below is a summary of the main pharmacies and associated flu jab…

  • Flu vaccines 2019/2020
    Pharmacy insights

    Flu jabs 2019/2020 delays in supply

    In one of my previous posts, I summarised vaccine availability for upcoming flu season 2019/2020. During upcoming season we will see new flu vaccinations, however, we now know that there are already delays in the production of quadrivalent influenza flu vaccine affecting the delivery of service in some eligible patients.

  • FreeStyle Libre is now available on NHS prescription for some patients
    Pharmacy insights

    FreeStyle Libre on NHS

    FreeStyle Libre is an innovative device designed for diabetic patients to monitor their glucose continuously. So far all diabetic patients who wanted to use FreeStyle Libre had to self-fund the device. From April 2019 a new agreement came into place allowing some diabetic patients to be prescribed FreeStyle Libre on NHS.

  • Flu jab cost by main UK pharmacies
    Pharmacy insights

    Flu vaccines 2019 / 2020

    Last year, during 2018/2019 flu season, community pharmacist delivered over 1.4 mln flu vaccinations to patients under NHS Flu Vaccination Service (PSNC, n.d.). Although flu season 2019/2020 seems far away, updated details for this service and flu vaccines 2019 /2020 are already known.

  • Pharmacy insights

    Plenity a new weight loss pill

    I must admit, the topic of this post is rather inaccurate. Plenity is a capsule (not a pill) that can be used to aid weight loss in adults who are obese or overweight in combination with diet and exercise (US licensing). Plenity is not a new product. Previously known as Attiva (and Gelesis 100), Plenty was subject to clinical trial back in 2010. Recently, the FDA approved Plenity to help with weight management as detailed in the first paragraph.

  • Pharmacy insights

    Flibanserin (Addyin) in the UK

    In this post, I will be looking at FDA approved Flibanserin (Addyin) drug with the emphasis on the effectives behind the treatment and its availability in the UK. Flibanserin available under the branded name of Addyi is FDA approved (USA) drug for the treatment of premenopausal women (women who have not gone through menopause) with hypoactive (low) sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

  • Advice for patients,  Pharmacy insights

    Drugs that keep you awake: modafinil

    Modafinil is the main focus of today’s post. It will be part of posts on prescription drugs that keep you awake and/or affect cognitive performance. I will summarise the mechanism of action of each drug in relation to wakefulness and possible effects on cognitive performance and whether they fall into ‘smart drug’ category. Smart drugs have been attracting a larger audience in recent years among students, bankers and shift workers. It is a known fact that armies around the world use stimulants to improve performance during a long duration missions (Bower, 2003). Movies like Limitless contributed to greater interest in smart drugs, particularly modafinil which received a label of NZT-48…

  • Pharmacy insights

    Prescription sleeping tablets

    In one of my previous posts I analysed prescribing patterns for antidepressant drugs in UK, where sharp increase of antidepressant use in UK is seen. In today’s post I will be looking at prescribing statistics for prescription sleeping tablets, used for treatment of insomnia. Insomnia can be one of the symptoms of depression. Does sharp increase of antidepressant prescribing correlate with increase use of prescription sleeping tablets in recent years? Prescribing data used for this review was taken from

  • Pharmacy insights

    Top 15 most prescribed drugs in UK (2018)

    Atorvastatin was the most commonly prescribed drug in 2018 (UK) with 48.8 mln prescriptions issued. Data available at shows sharp increase in prescriptions for this drug in recent years at the expense of Simvastatin drug where decline in prescribing can be seen. This is mainly due to changes in NICE recommendations on management of high cholesterol in adults which now recommends atorvastatin as first line treatment. Overall trend for use of lipid lowering drugs is on increase reflecting problem of obesity and unhealthy life across UK population.