The Health News Australia April 6 2018

  • The world’s largest study of its kind has found boys with asthma are more likely to break their bones than girls with the lung disease. The study of more than 16,000 Victorian primary school students aged from three to fourteen, the world’s largest of its kind, found boys with moderately severe asthma were thirty percent more likely to fracture a bone than boys without the lung disease. The same association was not found in girls.
  • The NSW farm at the centre of the rockmelon listeria outbreak that claimed 6 lives has said it will resume supplying fruit to the public again this week. A statement by the Rombola Family Farms confirmed the state’s Food Authority has given them approval to resume production, packing and the sale of rockmelons. The farm, which is based at Nericon near Griffith, has met all the requirements of the authority’s clearance program.
  • Drug companies have come under fire for allegedly using a crackdown on codeine sales as an opportunity to market stronger painkillers to doctors. Since February, pharmacists have been banned from offering weaker codeine tablets such as Nurofen Plus over the counter, with the medication now available only via a doctor’s prescription. One of the concerns about the change was that doctors could end up prescribing even stronger medication to pain sufferers. Now doctors say that is exactly what some pharmaceutical companies are trying to get them to do, via advertising sent to GPs.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 6th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/asthma/3/news/aap/asthma-linked-to-an-increased-risk-of-childhood-bone-fractures-for-boys/3272/

The world’s largest study of its kind has found boys with asthma are more likely to break their bones than girls with the lung disease. The study of more than sixteen thousand Victorian primary school students aged from three to fourteen, the world’s largest of its kind, found boys with moderately severe asthma were thirty percent more likely to fracture a bone than boys without the lung disease. The same association was not found in girls.

The researchers suggest girls with asthma may have fewer fractures due to faster maturing bodies, as girls enter puberty at a younger age than boys. Differences in risk-taking behaviours between boys and girls at certain ages could also be a contributing factor, the authors suggested. The study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, also found the use of inhaled corticosteroids – the medication commonly taken to treat asthma – did not influence the association between asthma and increased risk of fractures in boys. Lead researcher, Doctor Sharon Brennan-Olsen at the University of Melbourne says the findings highlight the importance of promoting good bone health among young asthmatics.
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An estimated one-in-seven children have asthma, a long-term respiratory condition caused by hypersensitivity and inflammation of the airways.
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For parents of boys with asthma specifically, Doctor Brennan-Olsen says unfortunately there is not much they can do except be aware of the increased risk of fracture.
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Doctor Brennan-Olsen added that abstaining from physical activity is not recommended for children with asthma.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-04/nsw-farm-linked-to-rockmelon-listeria-outbreak-to-produce-again/9617782

The New South Wales farm at the centre of the rockmelon listeria outbreak that claimed six lives has said it will resume supplying fruit to the public again this week. A statement by the Rombola Family Farms confirmed the state’s Food Authority has given them approval to resume production, packing and the sale of rockmelons. The farm, which is based at Nericon near Griffith, has met all the requirements of the authority’s clearance program.

While a link between the contamination and the rockmelons was established, the farm’s statement said neither the authority nor an independent microbiologist were able to identify any specific source associated with Rombola or with the farm’s rockmelon washing, storage or packing facilities. The Australian melon industry voiced concerns about the farm receiving the all-clear.

In a statement, the Australian Melon Association (AMA) said the cause of the outbreak had not been “traced or adequately addressed”. The association’s industry development manager, Dianne Fullelove, said growers were anxious to understand what went wrong, adding that they had not received a report on the outcomes of the Food Authority’s investigation.
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The listeria outbreak was identified on February nineteen this year. Since then, three people in NSW and three in Victoria died from the disease. Nineteen people were overall affected.

https://www.smh.com.au/healthcare/big-pharma-under-fire-for-spruiking-strong-painkillers-to-doctors-20180403-p4z7ki.html

Drug companies have come under fire for allegedly using a crackdown on codeine sales as an opportunity to market stronger painkillers to doctors. Since February, pharmacists have been banned from offering weaker codeine tablets such as Nurofen Plus over the counter, with the medication now available only via a doctor’s prescription. One of the concerns about the change was that doctors could end up prescribing even stronger medication to pain sufferers.
Now doctors say that is exactly what some pharmaceutical companies are trying to get them to do, via advertising sent to general practitioners. One of the ads causing concern, for painkiller Zaldiar, shows five silhouetted figures jumping into the air as the sun sets or rises behind a mountain range.
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Cameron Loy, of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said Zaldiar, which contains paracetamol and synthetic opioid tramadol, was about twice as strong as codeine painkiller Panadeine Forte.
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He warned that tramadol had a number of side effects and also had a “large array of drug-to-drug interactions”, including with some antidepressants. (Zaldiar has been the subject of only one adverse event notification to Australia’s drug regulator in the past two years.)
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Doctor  Loy, who has reported the ad to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, said the codeine change was important and broadly supported by experts. However, he said it appeared drug companies were using the restrictions as an opportunity to market much stronger drugs.
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The Therapeutic Goods Administration said it was investigating a small number of complaints or queries regarding advertising of pain medication following the codeine overhaul.
Doctors’ groups have also raised concerns about an ad for painkiller Targin – a mixture of oxycodone and naloxone, and a schedule eight controlled drug.

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