News in brief
Infection control agency announced by England's chief medical officer The Government is to set up a National Infection Control and Health Protection Agency (NICHPA) as part of its first infectious diseases strategy...[more]
Hospital discounts not against competition law but Napp still fined Giving greater discounts to hospital pharmacies than community pharmacies is not, in itself, a breach of the Competition Act 1998, but Napp Pharmaceuticals used such discounts to exclude competititors and protect profits in the community, the Competition Commission Appeals Tribunal has ruled...[more]
MeReC Bulletin tackles management of osteoporosis The latest issue of the MeReC Bulletin considers issues surrounding the management of osteoporosis, including the treatment of men with osteoporosis and the treatment of corticosteroid-induced osteoarthritis...[more]
PGDs to be extended beyond the NHS Patient group directions, which are currently restricted to health professionals working in the National Health Service, are to be extended to private, charitable and voluntary sector hospitals and to prisons, police custody suites and the defence medical services. Care homes are excluded from the proposed extension...[more]
Successful hospitals and trusts will be given greater freedom Successful hospitals and primary care trusts could be run on a "foundation" basis with less strict financial and managerial control from Whitehall, according to the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Milburn...[more]
New CD regulations from 1 February Regulations governing the supply of Controlled Drugs in Great Britain introduced in 1985 and their subsequent amendments have been consolidated into the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, which come into effect on 1 February...[more]
Nurse prescribing formulary extended Nurse prescribers are to be able to prescribe a wider range of medicines, including many prescription medicines, on the National Health Service from April...[more]
Call for new pertussis strategy A review of national pertussis vaccination policies has been called for by the International Consensus Group on Pertussis Immunisation...[more]
Raloxifene benefits those at risk of breast cancer Treating women at high risk of breast cancer with raloxifene could substantially reduce the rate of breast cancer among postmenopausal women, say researchers...[more]
Drug bulletins accuse industry of failing to come up with advances The International Society of Drug Bulletins has criticised the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory authorities this week, accusing them of "blurring the distinction between genuine therapeutic advance and mere innovation"....[more]
Herbal extract as good as cetirizine for hay fever The herbal extract, butterbur, is as effective as cetirizine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis, and does not have the sedative effects sometimes associated with antihistamines, a new study shows...[more]
Health Committee starts NICE review The House of Commons Select Committee on Health has started its investigation into the National Institute for Clinical Excellence...[more]
Renal national service framework planned for Wales Plans have been announced to begin developing a National Service Framework for patients with end stage kidney failure in Wales...[more]
Smaller multiples launch two lobbying groups The interests of smaller independent multiple groups of pharmacies are to be represented by two new lobbying bodies...[more]
New CRC standard A new British Standard specifying requirements and testing procedures for non-reclosable child-resistant packages for pharmaceutical products was published on 21 December 2001...[more]
Scottish pricing problems queried Problems with pricing prescriptions by the practitioner services division (PSD) of the Scottish Common Services Agency have been raised in a report by Audit Scotland presented to the Scottish Parliament...[more]
Studies compare benefits of lung cancer regimens Two studies published this week compare the benefits of combination chemotherapy regimens for treating small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer...[more]
NHS modernisation board says change will be hard work The National Health Service modernisation board has warned that changing the NHS in England into an organisation that meets the need for prompt and high quality health care will be hard work...[more]
From Care Award to part of practice and the NSF Applications are now being invited for the 10th anniversary Pharmaceutical Care Awards (see entry form opposite). The Journal has spoken to some of the previous winners to see what difference winning the award has made to their work...[more]
NEWS IN BRIEF
ME officially recognised Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), should be recognised as a chronic illness, according to a Government working group set up to review the management of the condition. In its report, published on 11 January, the working group concludes that clinicians should help those affected by CFS/ME to cope with the uncertainty surrounding the illness. The group suggests several therapeutic strategies for the management of the illness, including graded exercise programmes. No specific drug treatment for managing CFS/ME was identified.
HIV ADR Reporting Scheme News The latest bulletin of the HIV ADR Reporting Scheme News has been published. The bulletin reviews drug safety issues for medicines used in patients infected with HIV. It is produced by the Medicines Control Agency, the Medical Research Council HIV Clinical Trials Centre and the Committee on Safety of Medicines. All issues can be found on the MCA website ().
Loratadine could reduce asthma induced by exercise The antihistamine loratadine reduces exercise-induced asthma, a new study shows. Researchers assigned 11 children with a history of exercise-induced asthma to receive loratadine 10mg or placebo once daily for three days immediately before being tested for exercise-induced asthma. They found that loratadine reduced the fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) after exercise compared with that for placebo (P<0.05) (Archives of Disease in Childhood 2001; 86:38).