Full content PDFs

Tobacco and alcohol – the last great public health battles?
An evidence review published last year found that “alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor attributable to early mortality, ill-health and disability for those aged 15 to 49 years”. If we are to tackle the societal, personal and economic damage inflicted through the continued use of tobacco and abuse of alcohol, we need to address this financial reality. It will be a brave politician indeed who sets out on that course.
Rob Munro

Effective ways of supporting patients to stop smoking
(click here for full web article)
Smoking cessation is the most cost-effective intervention for the prevention and treatment of smoking-related diseases. This article discusses the treatments available to support smokers to stop smoking and their efficacy.
Elizabeth Pang and Myra Stern 

Managing common eye problems in general practice
(click here for full web article) 
Eye conditions are commonly encountered in primary care, but GPs often lack confidence with their diagnosis. This article gives an overview of some of the most common eye problems a GP might encounter and how they should be managed, including red flag symptoms to look out for when urgent referral is required.
Ann Robinson

GOLD report on the diagnosis and management of COPD
The new Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) report on the prevention, diagnosis and management of COPD advises using inhaled steroids less frequently than in current practice. This article summarises the main recommendations of the report and the implications for GPs.
Susan Mayor

Process overview: development of NICE guidelines
Developing NICE guidelines is a complex and involved procedure. This article provides an overview of the whole process from start to finish, including an inside view from a former NICE guideline committee chair.
Joy Ogden 

What should be included in a doctor’s bag?
(click here for full web article)
GPs have always carried some equipment and drugs with them when they visit patients. This overview considers what a ‘doctor’s bag’ actually is, and discusses the items it might need to contain for GP home visits as well as the factors to consider when stocking it.
Angela Dowden

Deprescribing: reducing inappropriate polypharmacy
Inappropriate prescribing and polypharmacy, particularly in elderly patients, is associated with increased risk of falls, hospital admissions and death. Deprescribing has the potential to reduce these risks and has been advocated in several recent guidelines. But how can this be achieved safely and effectively?
Angela Dowden

Recent advances in the management of chronic pain
Current treatments for chronic pain are often ineffective and are associated with some problematic side-effects. This article discusses some new approaches that may offer better treatment options for patients with chronic pain in the future.
Kate Stewart

Opicapone: once-daily adjunctive therapy for Parkinson’s disease
Opicapone (Ongentys) is a new once-daily catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) inhibitor with a long duration of action allowing once-daily dosing, licensed for adjunctive therapy in adults with Parkinson’s disease and end-of-dose motor fluctuations. This article discusses its indications, efficacy and adverse effects.
Steve Chaplin

Proposals on faster NHS access to new medicines
NICE and NHS England are consulting on changes to the way new treatments are appraised so that patients get access to the most cost-effective treatments much faster. This article summarises the main changes being planned.
Steve Chaplin 

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