Sunshine act reveals pharma payments

European pharmaceutical companies paid US$1.5 billion in fees to US doctors and teaching hospitals last year, according to official statistics released under the Sunshine Act (https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov). European companies accounted for 23 per cent of the US$6.49 billion given to medical professionals by the global pharma …

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Lung cancer patients given early access to nivolumab

The UK medicines regulator has ruled that patients with locally advanced metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer can have early access to the drug nivolumab.
The MHRA gave the go ahead for treatment under the government’s Early Access to Medicines Scheme, which allows use of drugs …

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“NHS tax” driving pharma profits, claim academics

Government support for the pharma industry has undermined efforts by NICE to control the NHS drug budget, two leading academics claim this week. Writing in The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Alan Maynard and Karen Bloor say that “government continues to subvert the …

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Survey highlights severe shortage of GP positions being filled

Data published in a recent survey has shown that the number of vacant GP positions in the UK has worsened over the past year.
Around one out of ten GP posts are empty with vacancy rates at their worst level for five years, according to poll …

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Codeine ruled out in children below 12 for cough and cold by EMA

The European Medicines Agency has advised that children under 12 years of age should not take codeine for the treatment of coughs and colds.
The EMA’s warning has also been backed by UK safety watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
It says in a …

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NHS concerns are not being met in party political manifestos

The NHS Confederation has said that a number of key issues concerning the UK healthcare service are not being addressed in the run up to the May general election – if the party political manifestos are anything to go by.
While some address the main concerns …

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Half of patients are not taking prescribed medicines

Between 30-50% of patients with chronic diseases are not taking the medicines they have been prescribed according to a new report.
This summary arose out of a meeting by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, with a resulting report estimating that …

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Liverpool CCG rethinks homeopathic funding following legal challenge

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group has decided to reconsider its NHS funding of homeopathic medicines following the threat of a judicial review from charity The Good Thinking Society.
Launched a year ago by science writer Simon Singh, the charity wrote to the CCG in February to oppose …

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Prescriptions dispensed in England last year tops one billion

Patients in England picked up over 1.1 billion prescription items in 2014 according to NHS data.
Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre also reveal that costs rose to £8.9 billion, which is an increase of 3% (or 34 million items) compared to 2013.
Whilst …

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BMA survey finds GP workload is damaging patient care

According to a major new BMA survey, GP practices are close to breaking point and doctors’ heavy workload is impacting upon patient care.
The BMA study of the medical profession that more than 15,500 UK GPs responded to, shows how practices are straining to cope with …

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