Tag Archives: pharmacist

Organic Pharmacy

Local Pharmacy goes worldwide

 Sharon and Ewa ‘man’ their stand at Wellbeing Event.

In the Goody Bags was a sample Double Rose Rejuvenating Face Cream, made by the Organic Pharmacy.

About ten years ago, a local Pharmacist opened The Organic Pharmacy on King’s Road. As a mother of two, an entrepreneur and a wife she knew how important it is to strike a balance in life, and The Organic Pharmacy was “an extension of my own life and that of my family”.

The Organic Pharmacies spread slowly across London, each one a lovely white, clean and sparkling space;   a shopping haven free from chemicals found in other stores, a place where expert knowledge on well being, herbs and homeopathic remedies were readily available.

Principles were very simple, the best organic ingredients, honest expert advice, quality service, incredibly effective products and a caring environment.

In 2008 they opened their first store in Los Angeles, with same aims as the London outlets:  to bring you the best products, advice and treatments free from all the toxic ingredients commonly found in mainstream cosmetics and health products. ­From our herbal and homeopathic dispensary we custom blend herbs and homeopathic remedies to suit your needs.  Expert advice from our qualified professional team means you are able to fulfill all your health and beauty needs.


Staff from the Organic Pharmacy were kept busy at the Wellbeing Event, answering questions on their stand, and Ewa Macur gave a fascinating talk about the products they offer, and why it is so important to look after our skin.

Whether we suffer from breast cancer, skin allergies and sensitivities or wanted to optimise care for skin and health, the staff were giving an informed talk about the various suitable options.  They  encouraged all their  our customers to ask as many questions as they need to, “and we are there to support you every step of the way”.

“We hope that we have shown the world it is possible to choose an organic product that is beautiful to look at, luxurious to use and more effective than its synthetic counterparts without compromising your health or beauty”.

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Pharmacists and Chemists play a vital role in healthcare

Jim Depuy, pharmacist checking in order

Image by safoocat via FlicMake


should be part of your healthcare


Especially now the Health Bill



  • doctors cutting down on time allocated to give you advice
  • doctors prescribing the cheapest drug – often not bothering to check if you might not be able to tolerate this
  • doctors may have no time to check if a drug they prescribe will counter re-act with another

Role of pharmacists in cancer care

Neal Patel, MRPharmS, spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society says

“We’d like to see pharmacists as a key part of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team in order to optimise the use of medicines and ensure patients get the best possible care.

The NHS reforms offer scope for pharmacists to be more involved in the commissioning and the delivery of services and we want to see pharmacists playing a more central role in improving the health of a wide range of patients, including those with experience of cancer.  Pharmacists are the experts in medicines and we know that their expertise contributes significantly to the treatment plan for cancer patients.”

Speaking to Lajja, the Pharmacist in my local Boots, I mentioned I had been prescribed yet another drug to take, and she frowned.  Went back to look at my list on her computer, then told me “I think you should check this up”.

Of course, she was right.  The ‘new’ drug should not have been prescribed alongside one of my ‘old’ ones.  But without her vigilance I could be having more problems.

So when a survey commissioned by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and sent by Johns Hopkins, landed in my inbox, I paid attention.

Johns Hopkins forging ahead

Since the massive American research and hospital centre, Johns Hopkins, has been awarded plaudits for the 21st year, they have been bouncing around with ideas – one of which is a survey that says they found people who know their pharmacists by name

  • tend to keep them up to date on all the medications they take
  • read the labeling information on their prescriptions
  • know their medications’ active ingredients
  • ask questions about their drugs more often

Survey:  Your Pharmacist: An Underutilised Resource

We tend to forget that Pharmacists are trained experts on pharmaceuticals.

  • They know about the chemical composition of drugs
  • how they function in the body
  • the diseases and conditions they are used to treat
  • how drugs are absorbed and metabolized by the body.

As patients, we tend to think that doctors are trained in drugs and how they react with us and our other medications.  Sorree – you would be horrified if you knew how much – er – how little time is allocated to this important aspect in doctors’ training – and I am not going to tell you because I still don’t believe the little amount of time allocated can be sufficient.

So it makes complete sense to make a friend of your pharmacist;  if they offer a service to review your medicines – take it – and talk to them about

  • the potential for harmful interactions between your prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs
  • dietary/herbal supplements, foods or alcohol
  • negative side effects you are most likely to encounter when taking medications and what you can do about them
  • activities that might be a problem while you take certain medications
  • what to do if you miss a dose
  • how to store your medications so that they retain their potency
  • ways you might be able to cut your medication costs
  • how to properly administer drugs not in pill form, such as inhalers, skin patches and nose- and eyedrops
  • advice on over-the-counter medications

Helpful advice
Help your pharmacist help you.

If you can, use one pharmacy to fill all of your prescriptions. This allows the pharmacist to keep a complete record of all the drugs you are taking. Pharmacists’ computer systems can identify potential interactions among your medications.

Tell your pharmacist if you start a new drug obtained from a different pharmacy, by mail order or on the Internet.

Finally, when filling a new prescription, inform your pharmacist about what over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal supplements you are taking along with your prescription drugs.


US hospitals are incredibly helpful, and are a resource I turn to again and again.  They are much more inclined to think that patients have a brain, than some of the dodos I come across in British hospitals;  most of whom have never heard of Johns Hopkins, or MD Anderson, Dana-Farber, or Mayo Clinic, or any of the massive, ground breaking US cancer centres.

But if you are stuck and want to find out more about your condition – go on to their websites (in Contacts section).  You will probably find them incredibly helpful.


Johns Hopkins Health Alerts
500 Fifth Avenue
19th Floor
New York, NY 10110

This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician, nurse or doctor.


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The BNF tells you about drugs you are prescribed

The dictionary that lists major medicines – and their possible effects


Anyone visiting their doctor in Britain will notice that, after they have discussed your symptoms, they will tell you they are going to prescribe something – then they will often reach for a thick book that’s always lying on their desk.

This is the British National Formulary – or BNF for short.

The BNF is a joint publication of the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. It is published biannually under the authority of a Joint Formulary Committee which comprises representatives of the two professional bodies and of the UK Health Departments.  Various official medical bodies also advise on content.  And the doctor is looking up possible side effects, and contra-indications.

The NHS supplies this volume to its staff, but if you are a patient you can buy a copy direct from the publishers.  When it arrives, it may look daunting, but  go to pages x – xv first.  These tell you how to use this book – and are well worth reading first, to give you some idea of how to find what you need to know.

Then off you go – with a warning!  This book is addictive!  Once you have found your way around, you will keep on finding excuses to consult it and its incredible amount of useful information.

The the BNF aims to provide prescribers, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals with sound up-to-date information about the use of medicines.  After dipping into the BNF, I wish that I had had a copy when I started out with cancer;  then I wouldn’t have had nasty surprises with side effects, but would have been told of these, in sensible, non-sensational language.  There, under Tamoxifen, are listed the side effects I had, which my oncologists told me they had never seen these before, or were due to my age.

I would have waved the BNF at them – and asked if they hadn’t known of side effects, why hadn’t they read up what was written there?

The BNF includes key information on the selection, prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines. Medicines generally prescribed in the UK are covered and those considered less suitable for prescribing are clearly identified. Little or no information is included on medicines promoted for purchase by the public.  So if it’s not mentioned, and hasn’t been prescribed by your doctor, prescribing nurse, consultant or other qualified medical practictioner – be very, very careful.

It’s not for everyone – if you have confidence in your medical team they will consult this book, and then read out anything they think you need to know.  But if you are worried – then this book, hopefully, will set your mind at rest, or at least give you enough facts to keep you informed.

The price of the printed BNF is £29.99 (see www.pharmpress.com/bnf for more details). However, it can be accessed online, free of charge to UK residents, at www.bnf.org

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