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Archive for November, 2013

Anna Robinson

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Macmillan Skin Cancer Awareness at UoS.

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Pharmacy Students!

There are pre regs from Boots here at Cityspace today, talking all about Skin Cancer Awareness with Macmillan! They are incredibly helpful and have lots of flyers, posters, business cards & DVDs available to take away… All focusing on understanding skin cancer, recognising when a patient might need treatment and counselling them appropriately.

It’s very helpful and a great way to help promote pharmacy public health!!


Lumiere Lights Festival!!

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Lumiere Lights Festival took place in Durham last weekend… and it was incredible!

It is a huge event that is spread right across Durham City Centre, with many different displays and light attractions that you can visit. I’d highly recommend going next year… It was amazing and beautiful and only 30 minutes from Sunderland!

Many students from the University went to this event, and for some of them, it was their first visit to the City. Being so close to Sunderland, and easily accessible by bus and trains, Durham is definitely a must-visit city. It is absolutely beautiful during the day time, with the Cathedral, river, and quaint streets with cobbled paths… but during the evening in Lumiere Festival, it looked fantastic. Even for a local person, Durham looked completely different to me, and the displays like the lighting on the Cathedral really showed off the setting perfectly.

I hope my little video shows embodies it well for you!


Open Day Antics!

Monday, November 11th, 2013

This weekend was one of the UoSunderland’s Open Days, and some of the Lives Online bloggers were able to get involved and help out.

We got to meet and greet prospective students, introduce them to their faculties, speak to them and answer any queries, and generally help out in any way that we could!


My faculty at Uni is the Faculty of Applied Sciences, which encompasses a wide range of courses that are science-based, as well as my Masters of Pharmacy course. It was great to see so many prospective students interested in my course, and provide them with some insight into how I find student life and studying here at Sunderland. Being a local student was very helpful too as I got to recommend some top places in the North East that they should definitely visit!
I had great fun at the Open Day, meeting lots of the current Student Ambassadors and finding out their job role within the Uni and specifically at the Open Day too.

Grant, a fellow blogger, and I made a short video about our day at the Open Day. Check it out!


Third Year Progress…

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Hello everyone, hope you are all well!

Here is a little video I have made, about how 3rd Year Pharmacy is going so far, at UoS.
No matter what year you are studying in, pharmacy is always a busy course but I love how interesting I am finding everything this year… My module this term is on CNS and neurodegenerative disorders! There’s lots to talk about so I tried my best to keep this video short!!

Since making the video I presented the Law and Ethics case that I mention, about the patient with epilepsy, and it seemed to go well. Fingers crossed I get a good mark for it! In Pharmacy School we had not covered much on the Ethical side of Pharmacy until this year, and so far I am really enjoying it. It is such a broad topic within Pharmacy Practice, ranging from Ethical Dilemmas with patients, prescriptions, medications and working with staff within the pharmacy; as well as combining all of the Pharmacy Law and Medicines Acts that we covered in 2nd Year, with regards to certain legalities behind prescribing, dispensing and medications; as well as posing scenarios around dealing with multidisciplinary team relationships with prescribers like Doctors, GPs, Nurses, Dentists and Consultants in hospitals. It’s good fun so far!


Keep following my progress on Facebook by liking my page “Anna Robinson – Pharmacy Student” and follow me on Instagram too @annalivesonline. I update all of my accounts regularly, so hopefully you can get a good idea of what a third year Pharmacy Student is like at University of Sunderland!

– Anna.

48th Annual Hope Winch Memorial Lecture…

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Wow. October was rounded off perfectly with the 48th Annual Hope Winch Memorial Lecture, held at the University of Sunderland last night!


Annually, The Hope Winch Memorial Lecture welcomes numerous guests to the University; many as part of the Hope Winch Society, but also current students of University of Sunderland, as well as practicing Pharmacists and anyone interested in the topic…
This year’s guest speaker was Dr Jeremy Desai, the COO of “Apotex Inc.”, the leading Generic Pharmaceuticals Company in Canada. Dr Desai graduated from the University of Sunderland in 1981, and says the University remains close to his heart, despite him living hundreds of miles away in Canada! It really inspired and encouraged me to hear that his degree in Pharmacy still “continues to serve as a great backbone of knowledge” which has aided and assisted him throughout his “pharmaceutical career spanning 28 years”.

IMG_1140[1]Because I am Secretary for the Sunderland Pharmaceutical Students Association (SPSA) at UoS, I was asked to help out at this well attended event. I thoroughly enjoyed my evening and was lucky enough to meet and converse with so many respected guests at the University; some involved with Clinical Pharmacy, Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Drug Research, Development and Design.

“Why generics and biosimilar medicines matter?” was the focus of Dr Desai’s lecture, a topic which I didn’t have much knowledge on beforehand. But his incredibly thought provoking talk and has encouraged me to open my eyes to appreciate the benefits of generic medicines and generic prescribing. As a future healthcare professional, who will no doubt be affected by generic prescribing in years to come, I feel like I can grasp the ideas and incentives behind this giant of an industry.

So what exactly are generic drugs? Well as drugs, they are really no different to any of the branded medications you might have come across before. However, the key difference is that they are not branded… making them much cheaper for patients to purchase, and consequently much cheaper for prescribers to give out (for example, you might have heard of Lipitor, which is the brand name of the drug Atorvastatin). Lipitor and Atorvastatin have the exact same therapeutic and clinical effect (reducing cholesterol!) but they differ dramatically in pricing.

IMG_1138Annually, Dr Desai’s company “Apotex Inc.” produces more than 300 generic pharmaceutical drugs for over 88 million prescriptions. They are currently the leading company in generic pharmaceuticals in Canada, distributing to over 115 countries worldwide. Currently, the UK market is tough for Generic Companies to make money in, unless they have a wide variety of products on offer to compete alongside the high number of branded pharmaceuticals; currently “Apotex Inc.” do not have a branch in the UK, for exactly this reason. It makes you question whether, if, in the future, the UK could provide them with such a market? Obviously, depending on whether the frequency of generic prescribing increases here or not…

There’s a lot of stats and data to take in for current students at the moment, but one key piece of data that Dr Desai used was the comparison between the US and the UK in terms of the ‘preference’ to generic prescribing.
37% of US consumers express an preference to use generic prescribing, whereas, only 12% of UK consumers felt comfortable using a generic medicine. This data is quite startling, especially when it comes to the proven effectiveness of generics today.

There is a lot to dispel around the myth of generics being inferior to branded products… hopefully this can happen in the UK soon!


  • Name: Anna Robinson
  • Age: 21
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Newcastle
  • Ambitions: To begin my career in Hospital Pharmacy, specialising in cardiology, with a view to teaching Pharmacy at a University.

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