The Pharmacy Show 2013, NEC Birmingham

This month saw one of the big events in the pharmaceutical calendar, with the pharmacy show day in Birmingham. The event is held over a weekend at the end of September every year and is an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to hold stands at the event, talking about everything from charity to new drugs and technologies. And I was invited along to see what it was all about.

The event was on, on both Saturday and Sunday at one of the massive areas of the national exhibition centre just outside the city centre in Birmingham. The whole day was really well organised, and upon entry everyone was registered digitally and given a very clever lanyard. The card on the lanyard had a bar code on it, similar to a QR code. And each company on each stand then had the option to have a scanner. That if when speaking to someone they wanted to swap details, you scan the persons code and you then automatically get their details added to your data base so as to be able to communicate later.

Many of the big brands from the pharmaceutical market were there- including Boots and Pfizer along with universities and product specialists. One of these that appealed to me with my sporting background was the Protect it stand. I've mentioned on the blog before that I really like what the socks do for my feet and sporting performance. But apparently so do many of the pharmacists of the UK and abroad. I spent some time on the stand speaking with the Protect it team and their interested parties. A lot of pharmacists were particularly taken with the fact that the socks are so good for people with diabetes, as they cause less friction. And the idea of selling these socks in their pharmacies seemed to really appeal as well. Because as pharmacists on the front line of diabetes care in the community, they obviously understand the growing epidemic that is causing more and more people to need treatment. So the Protect it socks would provide pharmacists with the ability to offer consumers diabetes related products aside from the medication.

There weren't as many diabetes related stalls as I had anticipated so the really good ones such as Protect it stood out appealed to me the most. However, there was also a stand there that was displaying a new blood glucose monitor. The monitor was smaller than a 50p piece and it had a small adapter that then allowed it to fit into the headphone socket of a mobile phone. You then put the blood glucose strip into the top of the device and did a blood glucose test as normal. There was then an app that was associated with the device and your blood glucose test was added to the app to then look at at a later date. The device was really clever, but there were still some bugs to work out. For example the app was only available for IOS users (for i-phone). And the app was unable to do anything with your results other than list them. But the device has the potential to be really helpful for people with diabetes.

The pharmacy convention was a really good day and it was really interesting to see some of the future innovations such as socks for people with diabetes and app's to test blood glucose levels. That could really help benefit people with diabetes. In addition to meeting the pharmacists and getting to see that the future of diabetes will hopefully be safely managed and helped in their hands.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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