Challenges with management of controlled drugs in a hospital pharmacy include time-intensive, mandatory record keeping processes and physical reconciliation of stock, often further compounded by inadequate storage facilities and capacity.


In this issue of Hospital Pharmacy Europe, a team at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust share how the implementation of an automated dispensing cabinet enhanced the efficiency of controlled drug workflow and dispensing between wards and pharmacy and how a training programme will be developed for junior staff who would not have previously undertaken controlled drug duties to build contingency and stability into the pharmacy workforce. 

A plan to eradicate SARS-CoV-2 in Belgium in six weeks using ivermectin was recently put forward by a Belgian virologist. As the number people testing positive grows and hospitals struggle to cope, an opinion piece in this issue discusses the approach and how it deserves serious consideration in other countries too. 

Heart transplantation is undoubtedly one of the most significant and life-changing medical interventions, covering a vast canvas of emotions in addition to its physical implications. Post-operative survival is at an all-time high but, despite this, optimal patient outcomes are not always achieved as the management of the recipients does not necessarily align with their needs. In this issue, Professor Anna Forsberg explores the patient experiences in the three years following heart transplant, based on two studies, and demonstrates how a change of management strategy towards aiding the patient in mastering uncertainty could pave the way to improving patient outcomes in the future.