The Health News United Kingdom October 24 2017

  • A new report says that taxpayer-funded medical research is producing medicines which are increasingly unaffordable for patients who need them. Campaigners claim that the NHS spent more than £1bn on drugs developed from publicly funded research in 2016.
    But NHS England said it was concerned about price “anomalies”, and questioned whether regulatory action was needed.
  • NHS patients will be urged to stop asking general practitioners for antibiotics in the first ever television campaign to prevent a bacterial ‘apocalypse’. Around five thousand people in England die each year because antibiotics have become resistant to some infections and experts predict resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined within thirty years. Today PHE launches its ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign, warning patients that taking drugs when they are not needed puts them at risk of a more severe or longer infections
  • During A debate on Wednesday, politicians called for a tighter regulation on the use of vaginal mesh implants. Labour urged an immediate suspension of the use of the implants, with Mp Emma Hardy, who called the debate, saying trials conducted before the introduction of them had been inadequate. She called for an independent inquiry into the “ongoing public health scandal”.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 24th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41693246

A new report says that taxpayer-funded medical research is producing medicines which are increasingly unaffordable for patients who need them. Campaigners claim that the NHS spent more than one billion pounds on drugs developed from publicly funded research in two thousand sixteen. A government spokesperson said it wanted the UK to be a global leader in research and development”. But NHS England said it was concerned about price “anomalies”, and questioned whether regulatory action was needed. It said that was essential that drug companies price their products responsibly. It added: “Although the responsibility for the how prices are set for medicines lies with the Department of Health, and in general the system delivers value for money for patients, we are concerned about pricing anomalies at a time when the NHS needs to make significant savings which suggests further regulatory action may be needed.”

The government said that it was committed to ensuring patients could access the effective medicines they needed, at a price that represented value for the NHS and for taxpayers.
A new report, seen by Five live Investigates, claims that UK taxpayers and patients worldwide are being denied the medicines they need, despite the public sector playing a pivotal role in the discovery of new medicines. The report, published by campaign groups Global Justice Now and Stop Aids, says that even when the government has part-funded the research and development, there is no guarantee that patients will be able to access the medicines at an affordable price.
It says: “In many cases, the UK taxpayer effectively pays twice for medicines: first through investing in Research and Development, and then by paying high prices for the resulting medicine once ownership has been transferred to a private company.” It claims the high prices of new medicines are “unsustainable for an already underfunded NHS”. Industry representatives counter that the situation is not that straightforward. They say that turning scientific discoveries into medicines takes years of scientific trials and costs billions of pounds, and the process is risky, so not every drug they test will make it to market. However, campaigners say drug companies are generating huge private profits from public funds.

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In two thousand fifteen, the UK government spent two point three billion pounds on health research and development and the relationship bewteen public funding and profits is complex. Campaigners say more needs to be done to reform the system and that research and development should not be linked to sales revenue. Instead, campaigners argue, companies should be rewarded for their research in exchange for limiting the price of drugs. However the pharmaceutical industry says it provides thousands of jobs and the current system is crucial to encouraging drug development.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/10/23/nhs-patients-urged-stop-asking-antibiotics-television-campaign/

NHS patients will be urged to stop asking general practitioners for antibiotics in the first ever television campaign to prevent a bacterial ‘apocalypse’. Around five thousand people in England die each year because antibiotics have become resistant to some infections and experts predict resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined within thirty years. Today Public Health England (PHE) launches its ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign, warning patients that taking drugs when they are not needed puts them at risk of a more severe or longer infections.

Professor Paul Cosford, Medical Director at PHE, said: “Antibiotic resistance is not a distant threat, but is in fact one of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today.
The new advert features cartoon antibiotics singing: “Every time you feel a bit under the weather, don’t always think that we can make you better.” Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, recently warned that an ‘antibiotic resistance apocalypse’ which could end modern medicine, and surgery, chemotherapy and caesareans too dangerous to carry out.
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Health Minister Steve Brine added: “Following on from the global Call to Action conference held this month, we are asking people to help so we can make sure antibiotics keep working.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/woman-left-debilitated-by-vaginal-mesh-implant-calls-for-investigation-after-minister-dismissed-need-a3664006.html

A woman left in chronic pain after having a vaginal mesh implant is urging the government to do more to investigate manufacturers after senior ministers dismissed the need for a public inquiry.
Helen McDonald,sixty five, who was fitted with an implant in two thousand thirteen after giving birth to three children, has been left in increasing pain and fears she may end up in a wheelchair. She is now hoping to travel from her home in Northern Ireland to London to speak to consultants as to whether she should undergo potentially dangerous surgery to attempt to remove it. She is one of scores of women around the world who have complained that the mesh implants, used to treat prolapse or incontinence, have left them debilitated.  Speaking to the Standard following a debate on the issue in Westminster on Wednesday, Misis McDonald said: “My whole life has changed. If I had known about the risks I would never have got it but no one told me.” Missis McDonald was forced to quit her job as a support worker for disabled people because she struggled to stand or bend over. And her marriage of 44 years has come under intense strain because she is no longer able to have sexual intercourse with her husband.
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During the debate on Wednesday, politicians called for a tighter regulation on the use of vaginal mesh implants. Labour urged an immediate suspension of the use of the implants, with Member of Parliament Emma Hardy, who called the debate, saying trials conducted before the introduction of them had been inadequate. She called for an independent inquiry into the “ongoing public health scandal”. But minister for care and mental health Jackie Doyle-Price dismissed the need for an inquiry and said the health regulator, the MHRA, advised mesh was “still the best device for treating stress incontinence”.

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