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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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Spotlight: Questions over Pharmacy First

The UK government has said it will introduce a ‘Pharmacy First’ service for England by the end of 2023, as part of a plan for recovering access to primary care.

Negotiations are ongoing, but the new service is designed to enable pharmacists to supply medicines for seven common health conditions, including earache, sore throat and urinary tract infections. However, it is not clear whether community pharmacies have the capacity to take on such a large new NHS service and some academics are warning of the potential for “extremely serious” consequences for antimicrobial resistance.

In this episode, executive editor Nigel Praities and investigations editor Carolyn Wickware take a closer look at the plans and the main stumbling blocks to the service’s implementation by the end of 2023.

More information regarding the independent prescribing pilots mentioned in the episode can be found here.

This episode was produced by Geoff Marsh.

Psychedelic drugs: the new frontier for mental health

Warning: this episode contains some potentially upsetting content about suicidal thoughts and miscarriage. If you would like to skip this part please fast forward from 09:50 to 17:00.

Julia Robinson speaks with experts in the field of psychedelics and mental health, and hears the personal account of someone with first-hand experience of participating in one of these trials, to uncover the truth behind the hype.

Thanks to Sarah Bateup, therapy lead at Clerkenwell Health; David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology; and David Taylor, director of pharmacy and pathology at the Maudsley Hospital and professor of psychopharmacology at King’s College London.

A special thank you to Mat for sharing his story with us.

This episode was produced by Geoff Marsh, with support from Nigel Praities.

Spotlight: The truth about weight-loss injections

So-called ‘skinny jabs’ have been heralded as game-changers for weight management.

Wegovy (semaglutide) is due to be launched in the UK imminently, will soon be available from community pharmacies, with large chains already setting up waiting lists for people wanting to get the weekly injection privately.

In this episode, Nigel Praities, executive editor, talks with Dawn Connelly and Emma Wilkinson about how these injections work, who is eligible for them and concerns about whether community pharmacies can provide the long-term lifestyle and psychological support needed for weight loss to be successful.

This episode was produced by Geoff Marsh.

Listen again

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

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

What will be the big stories in 2023?

What does it take to become a consultant pharmacist?

Anticholinergic drugs and dementia: a causal link?

Immune-related cancer toxicities: what pharmacists need to know

NICE type 2 diabetes update: what do you need to know?

Pharmacogenomic testing: coming to a community pharmacy near you

Myth-busting acute pain and its treatment

Pandemic plus? The antibiotic resistance lurking in our rivers

Can antiviral drugs turn the tide on COVID-19?

Apprentice pharmacists: could they help reduce shortages?

2021 unwrapped: the year in pharmacy

Pale and stale: decolonising the pharmacy degree

Will ranitidine ever make a comeback?

Antidepressant withdrawal: why has it been ignored for so long?

Meet the MAbs: the new treatments for vulnerable patients with COVID-19

Pharmacy’s mental health crisis: building back better post-pandemic

Is Amazon Pharmacy really a threat?

Shattering the silence on hidden disabilities in pharmacy

Proregs, the pandemic and a 'new normal' for pharmacy training

COVID-19 vaccines: your questions answered (part 2)

Cannabis on the NHS: a missed opportunity?

COVID-19 vaccines: your questions answered

Post-pandemic pharmacy: a brave new world?

MPharm awarding gap: how can BAME students be better supported? (part 2)

MPharm awarding gap: how can BAME students be better supported? (part 1)