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    FDC Int recalls a batch of sodium cromoglicate eye drops and of Murine Hayfever Relief

    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:24
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  • Recall issued for several own label glycerine and blackcurrant cough syrups

    Recall issued for several own label glycerine and blackcurrant cough syrups

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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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A Resized Quitting Smoking Image cbJuly 18 2018

There has been a 75% decline in stop smoking treatments being prescribed by GPs and pharmacists, the British Lung Foundation has said. 

In Wales, the number of treatments dispensed has fallen by two thirds, and in Scotland there was a 40% decline in the number of treatments prescribed in just two years.

In its new report, ‘Less help to quit’, the BLF says that “the most effective treatment for tobacco dependency – medication alongside behavioural support – is increasingly hard for patients to access through primary care.

“The huge decline in the number of items of nicotine replacement therapy and medication being prescribed is deeply concerning. Stop smoking treatments greatly increase the chance of a smoker quitting successfully. In some areas, GPs are being asked to stop prescribing these treatments altogether, in opposition to national guidelines.”

With the decline in prescriptions greatly outpacing the steady decline in the number of people smoking across Britain, the BLF has made a number of recommendations: 

  • the UK government should reverse the cuts to public health funding so that specialist stop smoking services can stay open;
  • CCGs should repeal all guidance to GPs which revokes their right to prescribe stop smoking medication;
  • commissioners of stop smoking services should remove any unfair restrictions on which, and how many, approved stop smoking products can be prescribed;
  • the Scottish government should maintain the levels of government funding for stop smoking services over the next five years;
  • data collection and sharing should be improved in Scotland and the annual report on stop smoking data be reinstated;
  • NHS Wales should collect and share local health board data on stop smoking prescriptions.

Professor Stephen Spiro, honorary medical advisor to the BLF, said: “Many smokers cannot get the medication they need to quit because of the decisions made by their local health services. 

“This report also shows how – to cut costs - decisions are being taken by a growing number of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to stop GPs from prescribing clinically-effective and appropriate medication for smokers. This is a travesty.

“The NHS must play its part in treating tobacco dependence, as it would in any other critical condition. As the leading preventable cause of death, we shouldn’t need reminding that addressing smoking is the responsibility of the whole of the health service.”

Links:
BLF announcement       
BLF: ‘Less help to quit What’s happening to stop smoking prescriptions across Britain’. July 2018             

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