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The PJ Pod

Brought to you by the team behind the Pharmaceutical Journal, the PJ Pod will keep you one step ahead of developments in pharmacy, medicines and the pharmaceutical sciences. Get exclusive behind-the-scenes access to our expert journalists and special guests, who will be sharing their knowledge and insight.

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Homecare services in crisis

In November 2023, an investigation by The Pharmaceutical Journal revealed that two-thirds of patient safety incidents related to homecare medicine provision were for services provided by the company Sciensus, according to the latest data provided by NHS trusts.

The findings came after the House of Lords Public Services Committee opened an inquiry into homecare medicines services in May 2023, following press reports of complaints from patient organisations and others about the service provided.

The inquiry has since published its findings, warning that “serious problems” with the provision and governance of homecare medicines services in England are putting patients’ health at risk.

In this ‘Spotlight’ episode of The PJ Pod, Carolyn Wickware, executive editor, Dawn Connelly, senior features editor, and freelance journalist Alison Moore explain the investigation’s findings, as well as the impact on patients and what the next steps are towards improving homecare services.

This episode was produced by Geoff Marsh.

Spotlight: Deprescribing research

The term 'deprescribing' refers to the tapering, stopping, discontinuing, or withdrawing of medications for the benefit of patients. It was first used 20 years ago in an article titled 'Deprescribing: achieving better health outcomes for older people through reducing medications' by Michael C. Woodward. Since then, the body of literature has exploded.

In this 'spotlight' episode of The PJ Pod, we talk to the author of a paper about deprescribing inappropriate analgesia in community pharmacy, from our sister journal, the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice (IJPP), and to the guest editor of a themed collection on deprescribing, which was recently published by IJPP. The collection features a range of article types from across the globe and captures the breadth of research that is taking place across sectors in different patient groups, to better understand how deprescribing can become part of routine practice.

BTK inhibitors: what pharmacists need to know

Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors are used to treat cancers caused by defective B cells, such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, B-cell lymphomas and Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). While B-cell malignancies are relatively rare cancers, their incidence is increasing. There are significant side effects and drug interactions associated with these therapies, and as the clinical use of BTK inhibitors increases, so does the need for pharmacists and pharmacy teams to be aware of them.

In this episode of The PJ Pod, Caitlin Killen, assistant clinical editor, speaks to a patient who has received these therapies, as well as with two experts to find out more about the different BTK inhibitor classes, their mechanisms of action and considerations for their use in practice, with a focus on WM.


Listen again

Did you miss an episode? Don't worry, every PJ Pod episode is available to listen again below.

Spotlight: the story behind the ADHD prescribing surge

End-of-life drugs at home: closing the care gap

Spotlight: Questions over Pharmacy First

Psychedelic drugs: the new frontier for mental health

Spotlight: The truth about weight-loss injections

Coping with the ‘Davina effect’ on HRT

Spotlight: Ethnicity and the pharmacy degree

Effective deprescribing: getting the most from medicine

Spotlight: The ‘new thalidomide’

Building bridges: pharmacists reaching out to help their communities

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