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Palliative Care Formulary launches online on MedicinesComplete

11th January 2019

The online Palliative Care Formulary (PCF) is now available on the MedicinesComplete platform.  The formulary is the go-to resource for healthcare professionals in palliative and hospice care and now sits alongside our collection of world renowned drug information, including the British National Formulary (BNF), Martindale and Stockley's.

Since the acquisition of in August 2018, the expert content of the PCF has been put into an enhanced, user friendly format.  The migration to MedicinesComplete now offers organisational wide access for hospices, trusts and institutions, improving patient care and enabling wider use of important prescribing resources for palliative care practitioners, researchers and students of palliative medicine worldwide.

Paul Bennett, CEO of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said:

“Providing care and support for people with a life-limiting illness is one of the most important roles of a health professional. I am delighted that we are enhancing the support we can give to practitioners through the Palliative Care Formulary. By adding this to the MedicinesComplete portfolio more people will be able to benefit from this vital resource.”

Karen Baxter, Managing Director of Pharmaceutical Press, said:

"We have built on the existing reputation of by delivering the Palliative Care Formulary on MedicinesComplete, allowing this valuable resource to benefit from more dynamic and intuitive functionality, and link to other internationally renowned products. This further establishes the Palliative Care Formulary as the 'go-to resource' in Palliative care and provides a perfect complement to our existing suite of products and services that includes the British National Formulary, Martindale’s ADR checker and the Stockley’s Interactions Checker."

Andrew Wilcock, former MD of and Chief clinical editor of the Palliative Care Formulary, said:

“It's been very rewarding to see the Palliative Care Formulary emerge in its new iteration as a fully modern online resource.  I'm hopeful that this valuable prescribing information will reach more palliative care practitioners than ever before and I look forward to seeing the service go from strength to strength over the coming years.”

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Gabapentin and pregabalin scheduling and safe custody arrangements

9th January 2019

Gabapentin and pregabalin will be classified as Schedule 3 controlled drugs, under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, from 1 April 2019. However, they have also been listed as exempt from the safe custody arrangements, under the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) regulations 1973.

This means that although full controlled drug prescription and requisition requirements will be required for supply, gabapentin and pregabalin do not need to be stored in a separate locked controlled drug cabinet.

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GP guide on cannabis-based products for medicinal use

8th January 2019

The Royal College of General Practitioners has produced an interim desktop guide to help GPs have informed conversations with patients about medicinal cannabis.

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NHS survey on end of life access to medicines in the community

8th January 2019

NHS England have produced a survey to gather information about access to specialist palliative and end of life care medicines in the community. The survey closes on 18 January 2019.

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RPS Wales Palliative and End of Life Care Policy

19th December 2018

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales, has published a policy document on pharmacy’s contribution to improved patient care for people living with life-limiting conditions. The policy focuses on making sure patients can access the full range of pharmacy expertise, maximising safe and appropriate medicines care as part of multidisciplinary care models and it aligns with the Welsh Government and NHS Wales’s Palliative and End of Life Care Delivery Plan, published in March 2017.

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NICE guidelines for COPD updated

14th December 2018

NICE Guideline NG115, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in over 16s: diagnosis and management, has been published and replaces clinical guideline CG101 (2010).

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AWMSG approves tiotropium

14th December 2018

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) has approved the use of tiotropium (Spiriva® Respimat®) as an option for use within NHS Wales as add-on maintenance bronchodilator treatment in patients aged ≥6years with severe asthma who experienced one or more severe asthma exacerbations in the preceding year.

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Palliative Care Formulary migration to MedicinesComplete - January 2019

11th December 2018

As you will now be aware, we are making some important changes to the way you access the current on-line Palliative Care Formulary. If you are an on-line formulary subscriber you will shortly receive details about how to access your updated formulary account on MedicinesComplete in January 2019.

Please note that only access to the Palliative Care Formulary will be moving over to the MedicinesComplete platform.

The Bulletin board, Document Library, News, Surveys and the Syringe Driver Survey Database (SDSD) will continue to be available at The site will also contain a link to the Palliative Care Formulary on the MedicinesComplete platform.

Once you have received your updated login instructions you will need to complete migration to your updated account on MedicinesComplete by 1st February 2019 when access via the site will be switched off.

If you have any questions regarding the migration then please contact

Supplementary information on cannabis-based products for medicinal use

22nd November 2018

Supplementary information has been published to clarify the status of the recent NHS England guidance to clinicians that was published on 31 October 2018 (see our news item) and provide clarification surrounding synthetic cannabinoids for medicinal use, e.g. dronabinol and nabilone.

NHS England Supplementary information

Report on action taken on ambulatory syringe drivers

22nd November 2018

The UK government has produced a report reviewing the action taken since the 2010 Safety Alert ‘Safer ambulatory syringe drivers’. This Alert highlighted safety concerns with Graseby syringe drivers and required organisations to put in place a plan within a year to discontinue their use and transition to safer ambulatory syringe drivers within five years.

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NICE consultation on cannabis-based products for medicinal use

20th November 2018

Comments are now being sought on the draft scope for the NICE guidance on cannabis-based products for medicinal use. The consultation closes on 4 December 2018.