fMD SoURCE A new resource hub fMD Source has been launched to provide community pharmacists in the UK with detailed information to help them prepare for the start of the EU falsified Medicines Directive (fMD).

fMD Source is being provided by the UK fMD Working group for Community Pharmacy which brings together all the main pharmacy bodies representing community pharmacy, including the nPA, to influence and inform the implementation of fMD in the UK. the nPA recognises that this will be a big change for everyone in the medicines supply chain, especially community pharmacists. We are working closely with the Department of Health and the MHRA to ensure that this is implemented in a proportionate way that fully reflects the UK’s unique dispensing models. fMD Source, a rapidly developing website, will provide an authoritative and reliable source of information on fMD. fMD Source, in conjunction with nPA support, is designed to help UK pharmacies prepare for whatever new authentication systems are developed and introduced. for further information contact

WEBInAR - toP tIPS A free webinar form nPA members will show new top tips for freeing up capacity and reviewing pharmacy processes. the webinar follows a pilot programme which helped members to free up time to do more in the pharmacy. the webinar will offer information on opportunities to make improvements to the dispensing process. Register for the webinar at

Visit for dates and topics of additional webinars coming up in 2017, or to access recordings of previous events. Consultation on Criteria for Reconfiguring Health and Social Care Services in northern Ireland

following on from the Health Minister Michelle o’neill’s commitment to tackle some of the challenges experienced in the nI Health and Social Care system, the Department of Health (DH) has completed a consultation on the criteria it will use to reconfigure systems within the service. the nPA, on behalf of our members, has responded to this consultation.

We have urged the Department to take an innovative approach to development of ‘out of hospital’ services and to turn into action the potential recognised in community pharmacy with the rapid roll out of effective access to the Electronic Care Record (ECR) and implementation of proven services to reduce pressure in primary care such as an extended minor ailments scheme and medicine optimisation services,

for further information on this or any other query, please contact the nPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891 800 or email


A study by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore has found that cocaine users are more likely to exhibit signs of ‘sexual impatience’ while on the drug, making them more likely to engage in risky behaviours such as not using a condom during a sexual encounter with a stranger.

In a government-funded study for which Johns Hopkins investigators recruited a small number of otherwise healthy regular cocaine users through advertisements and word of mouth, results point to ‘impatience’ as a clear barrier to condom use in those who are sexually aroused because of the drug.

the research team knew that people who regularly use cocaine are more likely to have HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (StIs), and the study authors say their findings, published in January this year in Psychopharmacology suggest ‘sexual impatience’ as a likely explanation for the increased risk.

for the study, investigators observed twelve otherwise healthy cocaine users during three study sessions. In a controlled setting, each participant took a pill containing either no cocaine, 125 milligrams per 70 kilograms of body weight of cocaine, or 250 milligrams per 70 kilograms of body weight of cocaine.

they were observed until the effects of the drug wore off (when their blood pressure dropped below 150 over 100 millimetres of mercury).

During that time, participants were asked to rate the effect of the drug and their sexual desire. Researchers found that sexual desire and the


drug effect rose together and peaked after about 45 minutes, and the larger dose of cocaine resulted in greater reported sexual desire and drug effect.

Using a computer, participants were asked to look at 60 photographs of people - 30 men and 30 women - and select the ones with which they would be willing to have casual sex.

then, they selected the person they thought would be least likely to have an StI and read a short description of a hypothetical sexual encounter with this person.

Participants then were asked to rate their likelihood of using a condom if one was immediately available and their willingness to wait to get a condom before having sex for periods of two minutes, five minutes, fifteen minutes, 30 minutes, one hour, three hours and six hours.

the researchers found that people had a similarly high likelihood of condom use if one was immediately available - 80 to 87 per cent - whether they were on cocaine or not.

But the longer a participant on cocaine had to wait to use a condom, the more willing they were to have sex without one. this increased likelihood of unprotected sex due to waiting was greater when they were on cocaine compared to no cocaine.

for example, participants on the highest dose of cocaine were on average 40 percent likely to wait an hour to use a condom, but the same participants were 60 percent likely to wait that long when given the zero- dose pill.

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