News and updates from

Selected items from the News and Latest Additions sections of, the world’s leading palliative care website with over 30,000 members from 169 Countries.

Safety updates

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) alert: T34 syringe pumps
CME has identified that there can be a ± 2mm overall size difference between battery brands used within their T34 ambulatory syringe pumps. This could result in battery movement, loss of connection and pump shut down. MHRA have stated that before use and after each battery change, health professionals should check that the batteries have adequate connection and that technical staff responsible for servicing the pumps should include battery checks as part of regular maintenance. For more information, click here.
MHRA alert: Valproate updated contra-indications
Valproate must no longer be used in women or girls of child-bearing potential unless conditions of the pregnancy prevention programme are met, and only if other treatments are ineffective or not tolerated, as judged by a specialist. All women and girls of child-bearing potential currently taking valproate must be reviewed, provided with a patient guide and effective contraception as per the pregnancy prevention programme. For more information, click here.

Hot topics

IASP statement on appropriate use of opioids
The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) has produced a position statement on opioids to guide appropriate use. For more information, click here.
RPS consultation on safe and secure handling of medicines
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has been consulting on proposed multidisciplinary guidance which considers the processes associated with the physical handling of medicines (including obtaining, storage, transport, manufacture or manipulation, removal and disposal), It includes relevant aspects of the Nursing and Midwifery Councils standards for medicines management, specifically sections on administration and transcription. All health professionals working across all sectors of care were encouraged to respond. The consultation period closed on 20 April 2018. For more information, click here.
Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care
Following consultation, NHS England has produced guidance for clinical commissioning groups on conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care. The list includes 35 conditions, e.g. treatment for haemorrhoids, mouth ulcers, oral thrush where the severity is minor and self-care is considered appropriate. It applies to all patients, including those who would be exempt from paying prescription charges, unless they fall under the general or condition specific exceptions outlined. For more information, click here.
Review of the Controlled Drugs Regulations 2013
The Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2013, which underpin the arrangements in England and Scotland for the safe management and use of controlled drugs in hospitals and the community, are being reviewed. A questionnaire has been designed to help inform the review and all interested stakeholders have been asked to respond. The questionnaire closes on the 21 May 2018. The current Controlled Drug Regulations (2013) can be accessed here. The survey can be accessed from here.

Drug updates

Denosumab indication extended
The UK SPC for Denosumab (Xgeva) has been extended to cover the prevention of skeletal related events in adults with multiple myeloma. For more information, click here.

Editor’s note. A new PCF denosumab monograph will be available soon.

Latest additions

PCF6 book in demand!
Demand for PCF6 print version has been high and has exhausted stocks on two occasions and we have ordered a third print run. Although we have attempted to maintain a consistent supply, issues out of our control have led to delays between order placement and order fulfilment.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to reassure members that all current orders will be dealt with as soon as possible. If you are awaiting an order, you will be e-mailed when your book has been despatched.

We have only one part-time administrator to deal with all the orders and we are grateful for your patience and ongoing support.
Cyclizine – What is your experience?
Results from our survey (January- March 2018).
PCF updated monographs summary (March 2016)
The on-line Palliative Care Formulary is being continually updated. The following monographs have been updated during March 2018 and supersede those in the print publication of the 6th edition of the Palliative Care Formulary (PCF6). They can be accessed from the formulary section of the website.

Chapter 01: Antacids and antiflatulents monograph (new and combined; Compound alginate products and Simeticone have been discontinued), Prokinetics (minor change).

Follow us on twitter @palliativedrugs for the latest updates.

Prepared by Sarah Charlesworth and Andrew Wilcock


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