The Health News – 21 September 2016

Overview:
•  A report by NSW Chief Cancer Officer Professor David Currow has found 28 patients who were treated by Dr John Grygiel during fly-in, fly-out visits to Bathurst, Orange, Cowra, Parkes and Dubbo were given off-protocol doses of chemotherapy. The inquiry released yesterday found five patients were prescribed a flat dose of the drug and 23 had “significantly reduced” doses.

• A small group of healthy Australians have been deliberately infected with one of the world’s mostly deadly diseases — malaria — to trial a new antidote that researchers hope will kill the parasite. Biochemist Jorg Mohrle, from Medicines for Malaria in Switzerland, has been working on the clinical trial with Australian researchers from QIMR Berghofer research institute.

• The father of a dying Brisbane child wants special permission from the Queensland Government to use cannabis oil in hospital. Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said the Government did not support an amnesty for anyone using illicit drugs.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  21st of September 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-20/chemotherapy-under-dosing-affects-28-patients-in-western-nsw/7859594

More than two dozen patients in the state’s central west were given inadequate doses of chemotherapy by the doctor at the centre of Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital chemotherapy under-dosing scandal, the New South Wales Government has confirmed.

A report by NSW Chief Cancer Officer Professor David Currow has found 28 patients who were treated by Dr John Grygiel during fly-in, fly-out visits to Bathurst, Orange, Cowra, Parkes and Dubbo were given off-protocol doses of chemotherapy.

It is not the first time Dr Grygiel has been investigated. Last month a report found he had under-dosed more than 100 cancer patients at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.

The inquiry released yesterday found five patients were prescribed a flat dose of the drug … and 23 had “significantly reduced” doses of …[the drug].

But Professor Currow said the effect of the under-dosing on individual patient outcomes could not be determined.

Dr Grygiel delivered oncology services in the state’s central west between 1989 and March 2013, but the report was not able to assess all of his prescribing because of limited access to pharmaceutical records.

The report also only examined available records dating back to 2006, when the current protocols for oral chemotherapy were introduced.

The inquiry has made 16 recommendations.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-20/malaria-antidote-trialled-on-australians/7860388

A small group of healthy Australians have been deliberately infected with one of the world’s mostly deadly diseases — malaria — to trial a new antidote that researchers hope will kill the parasite.

In the coming days the volunteers will be given the new drug, that experts hope will one day save the millions of lives.

The trial is one of a range of new measures being developed to tackle the tropical disease.

Biochemist Jorg Mohrle, from Medicines for Malaria in Switzerland, has been working on the clinical trial with Australian researchers from QIMR Berghofer research institute.

He explained that the problem with trialling new drugs in countries where clinical malaria was present was “the patients have a number of other diseases.”

The trial will be presented to a gathering of international malaria experts in Brisbane later this week.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-19/brisbane-father-pleads-queensland-government-allow-cannabis-oil/7859284

The father of a dying Brisbane child wants special permission from the Queensland Government to use cannabis oil in hospital.

Steve Peek said doctors had tried every legal medication on his eight-year-old daughter Suli, who has a regressive neurological disorder that causes multiple chronic seizures, but that nothing had worked.

He resorted to cannabis oil 16 months ago to give Suli a better quality of life, and said it had helped control her seizures.

But following a recent virus, Suli now needs palliative care.

Mr Peek has pleaded with the Government to provide him with compassionate access to use the drug in hospital.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said the Government did not support an amnesty for anyone using illicit drugs.

The Australian Medical Association’s Richard Kidd would not condone the use of medicinal cannabis oil.

Most people using medicinal cannabis on their sick children will not speak out for fear of repercussions.