The Health News Australia April 27 2018

  • The world’s biggest medicinal cannabis company, Canopy Growth Corporation, will set up its southern hemisphere headquarters in Victoria, in a move that will create more than 200 jobs. The company will spend $16 million establishing a hub for cultivation and production in Australia, with a long-term view of exporting the product overseas. Victoria was the first state to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis in 2016, but only for patients in exceptional circumstances, such as children with epilepsy.
  • New data shows that 3 of the five 5 common cancers diagnosed in Australia are diagnosed early but this is not the case for lung or bowel cancer.  Most Australians diagnosed with colorectal and lung cancers are catching the disease when it’s in the advanced stages. Landmark data released by Cancer Australia shows just 18% of lung cancer cases recorded in two thousand eleven were caught early – at either stage 1 or stage 2.
  • Moves for a free vaccine against the potentially deadly meningococcal B strain are underway as a new task force examines the need for the protection of SA children. Senior clinicians and immunisation experts met recently for the first time as part of the State Government’s clinical task group to develop the meningococcal B-strain immunisation program. A vaccine for the C strain is on the taxpayer-funded free vaccination list but the vaccine for the B strain has repeatedly been rejected by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Board leaving parents facing up to $450 for the protection.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-26/victoria-set-to-become-medicinal-cannabis-capital/9696330

The world’s biggest medicinal cannabis company, Canopy Growth Corporation, will set up its southern hemisphere headquarters in Victoria, in a move that will create more than two hundred jobs. The company will spend sixteen million dollars establishing a hub for cultivation and production in Australia, with a long-term view of exporting the product overseas. Victoria was the first state to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis in two thousand sixteen, but only for patients in exceptional circumstances, such as children with epilepsy. Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said it was a big step forward for the state’s newest industry.
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She said the company would need a highly specialised workforce with agricultural scientists cultivating the cannabis and chemists refining the product.

The Canopy Growth Corporation will not be the only player in the Victorian market, where both the Government and another commercial grower are cultivating medicinal cannabis. Last year the Andrews Government released a medical cannabis strategy, which aims to have Victoria supplying half of Australia’s medical cannabis by two thousand twenty eight. The ABC’s Four Corners program has reported Canopy Growth Corporation appears to be preparing for the legalisation of recreational cannabis, taking out Australian patents for its medicinal and recreational products.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/oncology/4/news/aap/new-data-shows-most-lung-cancers-diagnosed-too-late/3318/

New data shows that three of the five most common cancers diagnosed in Australia are diagnosed early but this is not the case for lung or bowel cancer.  Most Australians diagnosed with colorectal and lung cancers are catching the disease when it’s in the advanced stages.
Landmark data released by Cancer Australia shows just eighteen percent of lung cancer cases recorded in two thousand eleven were caught early – at either stage one or stage two. For two out of five lung cancer patients at forty two percent the disease had already metastasised, that is spread to other organs in the body, when first diagnosed. Less than half at forty six percent of colorectal cancer cases were diagnosed at an ‘early stage’.

Wanting to fill a gap in the data with the aim of improving cancer survival, researchers at Cancer Australia spent years collaborating with all of the Australian cancer registries and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to gather information on ‘stage at diagnosis’ for the five most common cancers – female breast cancer, colorectal, lung, prostate and melanoma. But the good news did not extend to lung cancer or colorectal cancer.

A higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were diagnosed with advanced cancer than non-Indigenous Australians. Doctor Helen Zorbas, Cancer Australia CEO said this critical new data represents a “major leap forward” in cancer control in Australia and will be used to improve survival.
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The data also highlights the urgent need for an early detection test for lung cancer, Australia’s number one cancer killer for both men and women. Late last year, Cancer Council Australia called on governments to make fast-tracking biomarker tests for the deadliest types of cancer a priority.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/push-for-vaccine-against-deadly-meningococcal-strain/news-story/9e9f116af4a2ff98999972c2821ba6b1

Moves for a free vaccine against the potentially deadly meningococcal B strain are underway as a new task force examines the need for the protection of South Australian children. Senior clinicians and immunisation experts met recently for the first time as part of the State Government’s clinical task group to develop the meningococcal B-strain immunisation program.
A vaccine for the C strain is on the taxpayer-funded free vaccination list but the vaccine for the B strain has repeatedly been rejected by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Board leaving parents facing up to four hundred fifty dollars for the protection.

The strain can be deadly — a South Australian boy, sixteen-month-old Charlie Mason, died of meningococcal B in two thousand sixteen. Health Minister Stephen Wade said meningococcal disease is rare but the B-strain is the most prevalent in South Australia and the Government is committed to developing a targeted response to have the maximum impact on the disease.
The peak national clinical advisory group — the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation — has highlighted the need for vaccination against meningococcal among priority target groups including young children generally, indigenous children up to ten years old, adolescents and young adults.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered the nation’s chief medical officer to consider whether vaccinations for meningococcal B should be placed on the taxpayer-funded schedule after it was added to Britain’s immunisation program. The announcement of the Expert Working Group into a meningococcal B vaccination program follows the State Government announcement of a free flu vaccination program for children aged six months and over, and less than five years.

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