The Health News – 27 Oct 2014

Overview

  • A patient has been isolated at a Brisbane hospital and is being tested for the Ebola virus after arriving from West Africa and developing a fever.
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and their families are celebrating after the Federal Government listed a drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) that will help treat some people with the genetic disease.
  • The Australian Medical Association (AMA) wants assurances that a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will not push up medicine prices.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th October 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-26/patient-in-isolation-in-brisbane-hospital/5842620

A patient has been isolated at a Brisbane hospital and is being tested for the Ebola virus after arriving from West Africa and developing a fever.

The 18-year-old woman arrived 11 days ago, Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said, and had until today been in home quarantine.

However, she has now been transferred to an isolation unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

A first test result for the virus is expected early on Monday morning, while a second test will be carried out in three days’ time.

The woman, whom Dr Young did not name, is not a healthcare worker. She is from West Africa and was planning to stay in Australia indefinitely.

Dr Young said the woman’s fever had “resolved” and she was “otherwise well”.

The woman was part of a family of nine that arrived, Dr Young said, though she is the only one in isolation.

Queensland Health is monitoring four families where members have recently been to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-26/cystic-fibrosis-patients-to-benefit-from-drug-listing/5842332

Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and their families are celebrating after the Federal Government listed a drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) that will help treat some people with the genetic disease.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said the Government has approved the listing of ivacaftor, the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of CF in patients with a specific gene mutation.

It will be available from December for patients aged six and over with the G551F gene mutation and will be marketed as Kalydeco.

Cystic fibrosis is the most common life-threatening genetic condition affecting young people in Australia.

It affects the lungs and digestive system, with patients struggling to breathe because of mucus clogging their lungs. There is currently no cure.

“With this new treatment many patients can experience an improved quality of life with reductions in respiratory and gastrointestinal complications, improved lung function and fewer hospitalisations,” Mr Dutton said.

The CF gene was first discovered in 1989 and medical experts consider ivacaftor to be the most important development in the treatment of the disease since.

The Government has approved $174.5 million over the next four years to fund ivacaftor on the PBS.

Without the Government subsidy, about 200 Australian families would be looking at costs of more than $250,000 a year to use the treatment, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Australia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-26/ama-wants-assurance-tpp-deal-wont-push-up-medicine-prices/5842008

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) wants assurances that a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will not push up medicine prices.

Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb is hosting talks with 11 counterparts in Sydney this weekend, as progress towards a multi-lateral trade deal inches closer.

If it is signed, the TPP agreement would cover 40 per cent of the global economy, and include countries like the United States, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Australia.

AMA president Professor Brian Owler said the agreement could be beneficial, as long as it did not inflate medicine costs.

He also said there was not enough detail on the trade negotiations.

The AMA has called on the Federal Government to put protections in place for patients if it agrees to the TPP deal.

Some groups, like Choice, say the TPP could mean medicine costs increase, by allowing drug companies to extend patents.

This has been the news on Health Professional Radio. For more information on today’s items head to hpr.fm/news and subscribe to our podcast on itunes.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!