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  • General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:31
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    Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:08
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    NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

    Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:46
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    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:53
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    NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:41

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 vaccine imageOctober 24 2017

Pharmacists have been advised to have a clear understanding of other treatment a patient may be undergoing when offering the flu vaccination service.

The patient group direction for administering the flu vaccine encompasses patients with a weakened immune system, including that resulting from cancer therapy. However, pharmacists should be aware that not all cancer therapies will compromise the immune system, says Numark.

It has issued a case history which involved a patient being treated for bladder cancer. Treatment in some bladder cancers can include irrigating the bladder via a catheter with a liquid preparation containing Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. This is prepared from a freeze-dried substrain of an attenuated strain of the bacillus Mycobacterium bovis.

A report filed via the Yellow Card reporting system indicates that a pharmacist administered a flu vaccine to a patient who had had a bladder cancer diagnosis, on the assumption that any cancer treatment would suppress the immune system, making the patient more susceptible to flu.

However, the Numark advisory says the patient concerned was being treated with a BCG bladder infusion. “There is some evidence that flu vaccines can interfere with this form of treatment and consequently administration of a flu vaccine is not recommended for six weeks before or after treatment with BCG. The administration of the flu vaccine resulted in the hospital postponing the patient’s cancer treatment.”

BCG use in bladder cancer is normally used for cancers affecting only the bladder surface. The BCG treatment is considered as immunotherapy, rather than chemotherapy, and is not associated with immunosuppression, says Numark.

“As immunotherapy does not result in a compromised immune system or immunosuppression administration of the flu vaccine would not be covered by the NHS Flu PGD.”

Link:
Numark statement         

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