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.

Hot topics

Report on action taken on ambulatory syringe drivers

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. For more information, click here.


NICE guidelines for COPD updated

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


RPS Wales Palliative and End of Life Care Policy

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. For more information, click here.


GP guide on cannabis-based products for medicinal use

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

Note. NICE draft guidance on cannabis-based products for medicinal use is due to be available for consultation in August 2019, with the final publication expected October 2019.

Drug updates

Instanyl (fentanyl) multidose nasal sprays discontinued

Takeda UK discontinued all strengths of Instanyl® (fentanyl citrate) multidose nasal sprays in December 2018 for commercial reasons. The single dose Instanyl® products (50micorgram/mL, 100microgram/mL and 200micorgram/mL) will remain available. For more information, click here.


AWMSG approves tiotropium

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. For more information, click here.


Gabapentin and pregabalin scheduling and safe custody arrangements

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. For more information, click here.


Latest additions

Palliative Care Formulary launches online on MedicinesComplete

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

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. The full press release can be accessed here.

Note. 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.


Prepared by Sarah Charlesworth and Andrew Wilcock

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